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Yora
2010-07-23, 03:37 PM
For my E6 campaign the big bads are a cabal of sorcerers that have made a pact with a demon lord, similar to clerics serving a powerful outsider.
As it's E6, the sorcerers can only summon hell hounds, lemures, and dretches, and only for very short times. With only Summon Monster I to III at their disposal, spells can not summon more powerful demons and calling is completely out.
For fluff reasons, I decided that no outsiders can plane shift and the only way to get a Glabrezu or Succubus or something like that to the material plane is by using rituals or artifacts. Communication with their demonic masters is relatively easy however and is done by simple rituals that take only a few minutes. Right now, the demon lords are not actually interested in the material plane, but spend much more attention to fighting each other in the Abyss. All they really demand of their mortal cults is to gather more power and gain political influence. The demon might have some use for that some day, and in the very least he can pull them into the abyss and use them as disposable reinforcements in a pinch. At least the cult leaders are quite aware of this, so the cults are not so much about worshiping the demon, and much more about the leaders personal goals.
Also, anything related to demons causes Taint. The mere presence of a demon would taint the surrounding place and everyone who comes near it. Drawing on demonic energy to power ones magic also taints a spellcaster, but Taint increases over the span of months or years, and not every time a spell is cast.

And now I'm faced with the problem how to make good builds for these demon sorcerers. Summon Monster I to III is obvious, but I don't want them to rely on spamming fiendish animals all day. Magic Missles (colored red or black ^^) and Scorching Ray would make good offensive spells; Hold Person or Slow are good for crowd control, while Scare and Ray of Enfeeblement also fit well with the demonic power theme.
But relying on just these spells would make the sorcerers all look the same. Do you have any other ideas how to make sorcerers based on the demonic priest theme? Maybe there's some fun stuff to do with feats?

Crafty Cultist
2010-07-23, 03:43 PM
You could refluff the dragon heratige feats to be demon related, with sorcerors growing claws and fireproof skin. The battle sorceror ACF give them greater combat ability in exchange for fewer spells so that might be worth looking at too

Dusk Eclipse
2010-07-23, 03:53 PM
I don't remember if you can get them a level 6 or before, but I suggest you look into the fiendish heritage feats in Complete Mage and AFAIK in E6 you can get quite a bit of feats... that won't reduce your combat effectiveness too much.

arguskos
2010-07-23, 03:58 PM
Note: I'm assuming this isn't purely core.

-The Corrupt spells from the Book of Vile Darkness are well suited to this.

-Arcane Disciple (from Complete Divine, IIRC) lets you access domains, which you can make things like Evil, Darkness, Chaos, Death, Demonic, Corruption, Hatred, the Abyss planar domain, Fury, Entropy, domains like that.

-Crack open the Fiendish Codex 1 for lots of demonic spells and feats, and other low CR demons (Rutterkin and Manes are among my favorites).

Optimystik
2010-07-23, 04:01 PM
Maybe there's some fun stuff to do with feats?

Indeed there are:

- Corrupt Spell from BoVD will turn their blasty spells [Evil] and make half of the damage untyped.
- Violate Spell is similar - turns spells [Evil] - but instead of making half the damage untyped, makes it harder to heal. Half the damage becomes vile damage, which magical healing cannot affect unless cast inside a Consecrate.
- Combine either or both with Malign Spell Focus and now all their spells have +2 DC.
- Consider the Fiendish Heritage feats in Complete Mage. Fiendish Power for instance, will stack with Malign Spell Focus for more DC to Evil spells (i.e.: all of them.)
- Consider a fiend-flavored PrC for some of them to take a level in. Fiend-Blooded (HoH) is the obvious choice, though less obvious options like Tainted Sorcerer and Diabolist. (For the latter, you'll want a dip in another +2 Will PrC or base class.

You could have a few of the sorcerers enter Fiend-Blooded.

arguskos
2010-07-23, 04:10 PM
Opti, I feel I have to mention that Corrupt Spell only affects 1 spell, chosen when the feat is selected. This was clarified in the 3.5 update in Champions of Ruin, sadly. :smallyuk:

Violate Spell also only affects one spell, as the Special line clarifies. :smallyuk:

Those feats need to be better, IMO.

Optimystik
2010-07-23, 04:17 PM
Strange. The BoED versions (Consecrate Spell and Purify Spell) are not similarly restricted, and BoED is 3.5.

Eh, just disallow CoR for being setting-specific :smalltongue:

Beorn080
2010-07-23, 04:20 PM
Are they all dealing with the same demon, or do the have pacts with a variety of them?

If one has made a deal with a succubus, I'd suspect they'd disdain blasty spells and go for charms and illusions, while the one who made the deal with a Balor would focus more on intimidation via explosions.

arguskos
2010-07-23, 04:22 PM
Strange. The BoED versions (Consecrate Spell and Purify Spell) are not similarly restricted, and BoED is 3.5.

Eh, just disallow CoR for being setting-specific :smalltongue:
The BoVD versions aren't any better, having that picky little "Special: This applies to only one spell" thing. :smalltongue:

CoR is just upfront about Corrupt Spell being specific, where the BoVD Corrupt Spell and Violate Spell aren't as easy to figure out, though the Special text makes it clearish.

Yora
2010-07-23, 04:59 PM
Are they all dealing with the same demon, or do the have pacts with a variety of them?

If one has made a deal with a succubus, I'd suspect they'd disdain blasty spells and go for charms and illusions, while the one who made the deal with a Balor would focus more on intimidation via explosions.
Mostly unique outsiders, but that doesn't make a difference in this case.
I actually hadn't thought about that and it seems like a good idea, in combination with Arcane Disciple.

Aroka
2010-07-23, 05:06 PM
Reserve feats from Complete Mage.

More spells from Spell Compendium: nightshield, blades of fire, lesser orb of X, ray of flame, net of shadows, babu slime, cutting hand, ebon eyes, dissonant chant, cloud of bewilderment, malevolent miasma, blast of force, burning sword, combust, fireburst, flame dagger, scorch, veil of shadow, wall of gloom, wracking touch, balor nimbus, infernal wound, acid breath, vipergout, blade of pain and fear, manyjaws, claws of darkness, mind poison, deeper darkvision, hamatula barbs...

Runestar
2010-07-23, 07:17 PM
Complete mage has this 3rd lv spell which lets you polymorph into a hell hound.

If they are tieflings, you can spend 2 feats to give them wings (races of faerun).

Make some of them warlocks? At lower lvs, their power level is still fairly comparable.

You can also consider using lower-powered monsters such as gnolls as a base, then tacking on spellcaster lvs.

arguskos
2010-07-23, 07:29 PM
Make a few of the level 6 guys Fey'ri, from Races of Faerun. They've got LA, but they're pretty demonic looking and themed, and I think there's special allowances in E6 for LA. It'd be nice, give them some neat tricks the PCs won't expect.

Yora
2010-07-24, 06:45 AM
Thanks for all the ideas, that's something to work with.

But could you give me some hints of some core spells that would make good picks for a cult-sorcerer? Cleric spells would also be okay.

Calmar
2010-07-24, 07:57 AM
Does E6 mean not only the heroes, but also the villains may not be highter than level 6?

Yora
2010-07-24, 08:21 AM
Usually yes, but depending on how you want to handle Level Adjustment, the XP penalty might be meaningless to NPCs.

Ranos
2010-07-24, 08:33 AM
Does E6 mean not only the heroes, but also the villains may not be highter than level 6?
In terms of class levels, yes.

Calmar
2010-07-24, 10:08 AM
How about some heretical class variation? Instead of simply summoning the fiendish creatures, the cultists could turn themselves into fiendish creatures:



This class is based on the druid, obviously, but without the animal companion and with better armor proficiency, a different spell-list and modified shape-changing, instead. At first it was intended to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but in the end I have to say it has turned out to be a lot cooler than I had expected (even if it won't suit your needs. :smallwink:).
Fiend shape could be replaced by the ability to turn into a half-fiend for 1 hour per class level.

The Cultist

{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special |0 | 1st | 2nd | 3rd
1st | +0 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Lower planar sense, fiendish oratory | 3 | 1| ó | ó
2nd | +1 | +3 | +0 | +3 | Darkvision 60 ft. | 4 | 2 | ó | ó
3rd | +2 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Trackless step| 4 | 2 | 1 | ó
4th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Resist fiendish lure | 5 | 3 | 2 | ó
5th | +3 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Fiend shape (1/day) | 5 | 3 | 2 | 1
6th | +4 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Fiend shape (2/day) | 5 | 3 | 3 | 2
[/table]

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the cultist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cultists are proficient with all simple weapons, with all types of armor (light, medium, and heavy), and with shields (except tower shields). They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with fiend shape (see below).

Spells: A cultist casts divine spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Her alignment may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. A cultist must choose and prepare her spells in advance (see below).
To prepare or cast a spell, the cultist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a cultistís spell is 10 + the spell level + the cultistís Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a cultist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Cultist. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score. She does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers, as a cleric does.
A cultist prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though she cannot lose a prepared spell to cast a cure spell in its place (but see Spontaneous Casting, below). A cultist may prepare and cast any spell on the cultist spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.

Spontaneous Casting: A cultist can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that she hasnít prepared ahead of time. She can ďloseĒ a prepared spell in order to cast any summon monster spell of the same level or lower.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cultist serves a powerful being of the lower planes. She must chose a unique and chaotic evil demon (tanaríri), lawful evil devil (baatezu), or neutral evil daemon (yugoloth) master whom she serves. Her alignment must match that of her fiendish master. A cultist canít cast spells of an alignment opposed to her fiendish masterís. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Bonus Languages: A cultistís bonus language options include Abyssal or Infernal, depending on whom she serves. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

A cultist also knows Cultistic, a secret language known only to cultists, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level cultist. Cultistic is a free language for a cultist; that is, she knows it in addition to her regular allotment of languages and it doesnít take up a language slot. Cultists are forbidden to teach this language to noncultists. Cultistic has its own alphabet.

Lower Planar Sense (Ex): A cultist gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (planes) and Sense Motive checks.

Fiendish Oratory (Ex): A cultist can improve the attitude of a fiendish creature. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The cultist rolls 1d20 and adds her cultist level and her Charisma modifier to determine the fiendish oratory check result. The typical fiendish creature has a starting attitude unfriendly.
To use fiendish oratory, the cultist and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
A cultist can also use this ability to influence a true fiend, but she takes a commulative Ė2 penalty per every two Hit Dice the fiend possesses on the check.

Darkvision (Ex): At 2nd level, a cultist gains darkvision out to 60 feet.

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a cultist leaves no trail in unnatural surroundings (such as dungeons, caves and underground temples) and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Resist Fiendish Lure (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a cultist gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fiends of opposing alignments.

Fiend Shape (Su): At 5th level, a cultist gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium Fiend and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the alternate form special ability, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per cultist level, or until she changes back. Changing form (to fiend or back) is a standard action and doesnít provoke an attack of opportunity. Each time you use fiend shape, you regain hit points as if you had rested for a night.
Any gear worn or carried by the cultist melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When the cultist reverts to her true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on her body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the cultist's feet.
The form chosen must be that of a fiend of a matching alignment the cultist is familiar with.
A cultist can use this ability two times per day at 6th level, as noted on Table: The Cultist.

Greenish
2010-07-24, 10:14 AM
I remember seeing a line of feats for fiendish sorcerers, but I can't recall where. They gave some thematic abilities, anyway.

[Edit]: "All cultists speak Cultistic"? :smallbiggrin:

Calmar
2010-07-24, 10:45 AM
I remember seeing a line of feats for fiendish sorcerers, but I can't recall where. They gave some thematic abilities, anyway.

[Edit]: "All cultists speak Cultistic"? :smallbiggrin:

Of course. :smalltongue:

Paul H
2010-07-26, 10:08 AM
Hi

What about Sorcerors from Pathfinder? You could take the Abyssal background for more 'fluff', bonus feats & spells, etc.

At 6th lvl the Sorceror would be able to:

1) Choose from 7 Cantrips to cast at will
2) Eschew Materials as bonus Sorceror feat (all Sorcerors have it),
3) Bonus spells known: Cause Fear & Bull's Strength
4) 'Grow' Claws as free action for 3+cha mod times/day. (They also count as magic wpns for DR at this level
5) Resist Elect 5 and +2 bonus saves vs Poison

Cheers
Paul H

hamishspence
2010-07-26, 10:20 AM
Strange. The BoED versions (Consecrate Spell and Purify Spell) are not similarly restricted, and BoED is 3.5.

Eh, just disallow CoR for being setting-specific :smalltongue:

Subsequent splatbooks appear to use the BoVD version- such as Fiendish Codex 2, and, I think, Exemplars of Evil.

Not just that- but they make it clear that it's a metamagic feat- and if you take the feat, you can Corrupt any spell.

I figure the CoR version was a mistake on the part of the designer.

Optimystik
2010-07-26, 10:22 AM
Subsequet splatbooks appear to use the BoVD version- such as Fiendish Codex 2, and, I think, Exemplars of Evil.

I figure the CoR version was a mistake on the part of the designer.

Perfect, I didn't think to comb through those.

Apply to any spell it is :smallsmile:

hamishspence
2010-07-26, 10:24 AM
The CoR version was somewhat weird- it wasn't treated quite like a normal metamagic feat.

I figure best to just ignore it.

Ruling that Corrupt Spell-Like Ability can only be taken for one SLA at a time- that would make more sense. Maybe the CoR one was actually intended to be for SLAs, not spells.

hamishspence
2010-07-26, 02:16 PM
I've figured out what the precise sources are.

Complete Divine has the version of Corrupt Spell that works like an ordinary metamagic feat- you take the feat once, and you can corrupt any spell (but it takes a higher slot).

Fiendish Codex 2 does exactly the same- but with Violate Spell (Asmodeus and Mephistopheles both have multiple violated spells, despite both only taking the feat once- and the feat not specifying a single specific spell in their statblocks.

And Elder Evils (one of the last ever 3.5 rulebooks) has a sample character with Corrupt Spell- the Complete Divine version.

So- you can point to these books, as evidence that the way the feats were supposed to work, was as ordinary metamagic feats. Champions of Ruin basically reprinted the BoVD version.

Given that subsequent books, like Elder Evils, have used the Complete Divine version, I figure that this is the "most correct" version for 3.5.

unimaginable
2010-07-26, 02:47 PM
I once played as a Fiend Blooded Sorcerer in a game. Hellish theme rather than Abyssal, but a lot of it is transferable.

Backstory: masked circus performer, left the circus after killing several people there because they didn't respect him enough.

Schtick: uses gas based spells (at this level the good ones are cloud of bewilderment and acid breath), and makes them look as if they were his breath.

The PrC "Fiend Blooded" (heroes of horror) is thematic and pretty damn powerful.

Gets better at higher levels, but even at lvl 6, the cloud of bewilderment is pretty epic battlefield control, and acid breath is good for damage.