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    Default [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind

    Soulhawker Devil

    Large Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Law)
    Hit Dice: 14d8+56 (119 hp)
    Initiative: +5
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class: 23 (+5 dex, +9 natural, -1 size), touch 14, flat-footed 18
    Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+22
    Attack: Masterwork Scythe +18/+13/+8 melee (2d6+6/19-20x4)
    Full Attack: Masterwork Scythe +18/+13/+8 melee (2d6+6/19-20x4) or 2 slams +18 melee (1d8+4) and 1 bite +13 touch (soul siphon)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Ghost touch, soul siphon, spell-like abilities, voices of the damned
    Special Qualities: Binding contract, change shape, closed mind, damage reduction 10/good, darkvision 60 ft., deathwatch, outsider traits, resistance to acid and cold 10, see in darkness, telepathy 100 ft., tongues, wish come true
    Saves: Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +12
    Abilities: Str 18, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 27, Wis 17, Cha 22
    Skills: Bluff +23, Concentration +21, Decipher Script +21, Diplomacy +23, Disguise +23, Forgery +25, Gather Information +23, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (local) +25, Knowledge (religion) +25, Listen +20, Search +25, Sense Motive +30, Spellcraft +25, Spot +20, Use Magic Device +23
    Feats: Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (scythe), Spirit Sense, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse(B)
    Environment: Nine Hells of Baator
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: 15
    Treasure: Standard coins; double goods; standard items, plus scythe
    Alignment: Always Lawful Evil
    Advancement: 15–20 HD (Large); 21–42 HD (Huge)
    Level Adjustment: -

    A soulhawker devil is an incredibly thin, lanky devil with skin of such an utterly deathly palor that many take them for undead. In fact, these devils are often thought to be Death himself when in their normal guise, with cavernous eye sockets so deep its difficult to see. They tend to wear black robes or suits of breezy black material, their incredibly gaunt faces covered over by hoods. Their mouths are capable of opening to unnerving widths and gauzy mist seems to roil about just within. They rarely appear in this form however, taking the form of whatever is most suitable for their current scam, be it a beautiful woman or a fiery devil, all teeth and claws.

    A soulhawker deal in souls, literally. Making contracts and promising much, they are the masters of twisted words and slippery promises. And their price is always the same... the very essence of your being. But for your soul they will promise you nearly anything. Soul hawkers are opportunitists through and through, and will often roam the material plane for the sick and injured, promising them long life and health. The destitute will gain great skills and riches. Others prefer to meet with proud warriors and famous craftsman, challenging them, and betting anything from large ammounts of gold to magical items. The soulhawker then uses their accumulated knowledge to surpass their opponent, thus gaining their soul. As valued a commodity as these spirits are, soulhawkers are amongst the wealthiest devils in the hells, bribing and buying their way to high ranks and positions of power.

    A soulhawker stands around 8 feet tall, and despite its gauntness, weighs over 300 lbs. Soul hawkers speak Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal and Draconic, relying on their tongues ability to converse with those of stranger tongus.

    Combat
    Soulhawker devils, though they are eager executioners, have little taste for actual combat. They prefer to scheme and trick their victims into giving away their souls and thus kill themselves. If all trickery, guile and avoidance is uneffective they open their mouth wide to allow the screams of their past victims to be heard, to show them what they will face should they lose the approaching battle. The devil then brings forth a wickedly curved scythe, spinning it with lethal skill to remove limb and head.

    A soulhawker devil’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

    Binding Contract (Su): A deal made with a soulhawker is a binding contract in all possible ways. Those who swear an oath to the soulhawker of their own free will and violition must uphold their end of their bargain or forfeit their very soul upon their death, natural or otherwise. Their spirit, reguardless of any spell, spell-like, or supernatural ability appears before the soulhawker. He may then open his mouth wide and engulf the damned. Only the soulhawker who made the deal or a being of deity-level power may nullify this contract.

    A soulhawker may bring souls it has taken in payment back to life as the True Ressurection spell. If a soulhawker is killed the souls are released as petitioners. A soulhawker puts an arcane mark upon those who make an oath, which all other soulhawkers are capable of seeing even if invisible. No soulhawker will attempt a deal with an already marked soul.

    Change Shape (Su): A soulhawker can assume the form of any Small to Large humanoid or devil.

    Closed Mind (Ex): A soulhawker is immune to all mind-affecting effects and abilities. As well, those that attempt a sense motive check on a soulhawker devil do so at a -10 penalty.

    Deathwatch (Sp): A soulhawker has a permanent deathwatch ability (as the spell, caster level 15th). They often visit those approaching death to offer them their lives now for their soul later on.

    Ghost Touch (Ex): A soulhawker's natural weapons, plus any he wields, acts as a Ghost Touch weapon.

    Soul Siphon (Su): The bite of a soulhawker deals 1d4 Charisma-damage as their soul itself is sucked within its awful maw. If the victim's charisma is reduced to 0 they die and their soul is immediately engulfed.

    Spell-like Abilities: Caster level 14th. Save DC's are Charisma-based.
    At will - Arcane mark, charm monster, discern lies, erase, illusory script, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), scrying, zone of truth
    3/day - Explosive runes, instant summons, planeshift.

    Tongues (Sp): A soulhawker has a permanent tongues ability (as the spell, caster level 15th).

    Voices of the Damned (Ex): As a standard action a soulhawker may open his mouth and allow the wails of those within to be heard. Creatures with souls within 100 feet must succed on a DC 23 will save or become panicked for 6 rounds. Even those that make the save are Shaken for a round. This scream goes right past the ears of those within range, shaking them to the core of their souls. As such even those with immunity to fear may be affected as long as they possess a soul. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Wish Come True (Sp): A soulhawker devil may grant a Wish once per day to any individual who has made an oath. This wish may only be used to fulfill the bargain made between the devil and his 'client'.

    Skills: A soulhawker devil gains a +10 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2007-06-13 at 05:28 PM.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    This monster would be one of those monsters who are attracted to souldrinking weapons (lost business, I think). very good monster, as always
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Very awesome. And horrifically tempting to add into one of my games.

    There's only one minor problem I can see. Can't the soul choose not to come back, even with True Ressurection?

    So doesn't that mean that the soul can choose to renege on its agreement simply by not returning from its chosen afterlife when the Soulhawker calls?

    Or is the soul kinda trapped inside the Soulhawker, and therefore not given a choice?
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    As written, he can't use his Instant Summons ability without a level in either Wizard or Sorcerer, as the item called by Instant Summons must have an Arcane Mark of the caster's design.

    Also, Instant Summons is one of those spells that has an "active" component - you cast the spell on an object, and the material component - you then crush the material component at some later date when you want the item to come to you. Being a spell-like ability, there's no gem. But the spell description relies on one. Methinks it might be a good idea to spell out exactly how it works in this instance for this critter.

    Edit:
    A couple of silly questions....

    What happens if the Soulhawker, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfil it's end of the bargain (e.g., somebody steals the golden fiddle he Wished up out of his hands before he can give it to the one who won it, fair and square)?

    No Perform skills? Shouldn't he have at least Perform(Fiddle)?



    Gee... this guy would make a highly effective bailbondsman......

    Edit the 2nd:
    Wish as a Su ability? I can think of some horrible Shapechange abuse with this.......
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    He should have Perform (stringed instruments).

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    So, how easy is it to Charm/Suggestion someone into signing a contract? Are such contracts legitimate? Would a soulhawker use magic to coerce someone into giving their soul away for free?

    And since the bite only does Charisma-damage, what's stopping soulhawkers from picking incapacitated victims and sucking the souls out of them by force? (Thinking of Bubba-Hotep here.)
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Lemmer
    So, how easy is it to Charm/Suggestion someone into signing a contract? Are such contracts legitimate? Would a soulhawker use magic to coerce someone into giving their soul away for free?
    From the way it's written, no - Binding Contract specifies "own free will and violition" - if you've been Charmed into doing something, or had to follow through on a Suggested course of action, your will wasn't free, was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Lemmer
    And since the bite only does Charisma-damage, what's stopping soulhawkers from picking incapacitated victims and sucking the souls out of them by force? (Thinking of Bubba-Hotep here.)
    Hmm.... flavorwise, I suppose it would probably be appropriet to remove that aspect, wouldn't it? Still.... makes for a meaner opponent - if it bites you to death, and gets away, you're rolling up a new character sheet, as you can't be ressurected.

    Hmm.... Bite isn't listed under attacks?
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    A couple simple errors to correct. First, you gave the devil Weapon Finesse, when scythes cannot be finessed- only light or specific weapons.

    Second, you frequently refer to the Soulhawker as a demon- and while the word itself is useful, recall that demons and devils are two completely different and opposing forces.

    Third, you gave it Charm as a (Sp)- is that Charm Person, or Charm Monster?

    Anyways, it looks good. I've been somewhat annoyed that there are no actual mechanics for either soul usage or soul purchasing in D&D- it's all supposed to happen behind the scenes, and the PCs never get to benefit from it, because they're supposed to be the "good" guys. Giving Wishes for the souls of the PCs may be an effective tactic. And I like the spell-likes, but considering all the soul-based effects, would not Soul Trap be an extremely fitting spell for this devil to possess?

    ...Actually, killing people and then trapping their souls does NOT, upon further consideration, seem the style of this devil which must cajole and bargain for such possessions, but that may just be my own interpretation.
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth
    From the way it's written, no - Binding Contract specifies "own free will and violition" - if you've been Charmed into doing something, or had to follow through on a Suggested course of action, your will wasn't free, was it?
    That's what I thought, but the combination of Charm and Illusory Script suggest they use them to mislead and persuade takers. If you only meet people to get them to sign away their souls, why would you have a spell-like ability perfect for the job that you couldn't use?
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Creepy and delightful.
    ...can you kill yourself to avoid it taking your soul? That'd be sort of funny.
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizzardman
    There's only one minor problem I can see. Can't the soul choose not to come back, even with True Ressurection?

    So doesn't that mean that the soul can choose to renege on its agreement simply by not returning from its chosen afterlife when the Soulhawker calls?

    Or is the soul kinda trapped inside the Soulhawker, and therefore not given a choice?
    I made it clear I thought that upon death their soul appears before the soulhawker whom then engulfs it. And he has complete control over the soul. Even if he didn't, what creature would prefer centuries of agony in this guy's gut over life?

    As written, he can't use his Instant Summons ability without a level in either Wizard or Sorcerer, as the item called by Instant Summons must have an Arcane Mark of the caster's design.
    Actually had meant it to have Arcane Mark. Added.

    What happens if the Soulhawker, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfil it's end of the bargain (e.g., somebody steals the golden fiddle he Wished up out of his hands before he can give it to the one who won it, fair and square)?
    Well, if he's standing there about to present it and something runs by an snatches it... well, y'cant blame the devil now can you? But with a 27 intelligence I'm hoping this fellow will have back up plans and the like.

    No Perform skills? Shouldn't he have at least Perform(Fiddle)?
    It depends on the soulhawker. Each one could study instruments or crafts or whatnot and become horribly skilled. I left that open to the DM. Any creature's skills can be adjusted. Just take out Search or something and put in Perform (stringed instruments).

    Edit the 2nd:
    Wish as a Su ability? I can think of some horrible Shapechange abuse with this.......
    Shapechange is the same level as Wish, and only lasts ten minutes per level. Sure you could turn into this devil, but you'd only be able to use Wish once. And even then, Djinn can also grant wishes, and they are lower leveled. But remember, these devils can only use their Wish for the good of their client. So first you'd have to find someone to make an oath, and then it'd be their decision on what to use the wish for, not yours.

    From the way it's written, no - Binding Contract specifies "own free will and violition" - if you've been Charmed into doing something, or had to follow through on a Suggested course of action, your will wasn't free, was it?
    Thats the way of it.

    Hmm.... Bite isn't listed under attacks?
    Don't know how I forgot bite. Added.

    A couple simple errors to correct. First, you gave the devil Weapon Finesse, when scythes cannot be finessed- only light or specific weapons.

    Second, you frequently refer to the Soulhawker as a demon- and while the word itself is useful, recall that demons and devils are two completely different and opposing forces.

    Third, you gave it Charm as a (Sp)- is that Charm Person, or Charm Monster?
    Adjusted.

    And I like the spell-likes, but considering all the soul-based effects, would not Soul Trap be an extremely fitting spell for this devil to possess?
    Well, except he basically does have it. It just only works on those he's made a deal with or has personally killed.

    ...Actually, killing people and then trapping their souls does NOT, upon further consideration, seem the style of this devil which must cajole and bargain for such possessions, but that may just be my own interpretation
    Aye, however, if he's forced to defend himself and wins then why pass up a good thing? ;)

    That's what I thought, but the combination of Charm and Illusory Script suggest they use them to mislead and persuade takers. If you only meet people to get them to sign away their souls, why would you have a spell-like ability perfect for the job that you couldn't use?
    Hey, there is nothing to say, unless the ocntract mentions it, that these spells can't be used on the subject after the contract is made. He just has to sign of his own free will. After that though... ;)

    Remember, in many stories when these people have given up their soul they do not act anywhere near normal or do normal things. Sounds very much like they are being messed with by the devil that made the contract.

    Remember, 27 intelligence...

    Creepy and delightful.
    ...can you kill yourself to avoid it taking your soul? That'd be sort of funny.
    That wouldn't really work because of the contract. Upon death your soul is his, reguardless of whoes hand released it.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Shapechange is the same level as Wish, and only lasts ten minutes per level. Sure you could turn into this devil, but you'd only be able to use Wish once. And even then, Djinn can also grant wishes, and they are lower leveled. But remember, these devils can only use their Wish for the good of their client. So first you'd have to find someone to make an oath, and then it'd be their decision on what to use the wish for, not yours.
    1) Can't get the Wish ability of an Efreeti or a Noble Dijinni by Shapechange, as it's a spell-like, which Shapechange doesn't grant. As is the Hezrou's. As is the Pit Fiend's.
    2) As written (intended or not), it's the devil's choice on the specifics of the wish, just that the Wish must be made in the fulfilling of the contract - so, for example, a devil posing as a bailbondsman could make deals with those awaiting trial; devil covers the bail, subject agrees to stand trial all nice and properly when the court-schedualed date arrives. Devil covers bail, keeps excess. Subject shows up, devil gets the bail back. Subject doesn't show up, Devil get his soul. Win-Win.
    3) "Wish Come True (Su): A soulhawker devil may grant a Wish once per day per individual who has made an oath. This wish may only be used to fulfill the bargain made between the devil and his 'client'."
    It's possible we've got some language drift, but as I understand it, X per Y per Z means that if X, Y, and Z are greater than 1, you've got X*Y*Z X's.
    As written, if you can make 30 deals with 30 different people, you grant 30 different wishes. So if you have Leadership, and get 30 "trivial" deals from the "client's" side, you can make 30 different wishes.

    Oh, and what happens when, for whatever reason, somone fails to fulfil a contract with two or more of these critters?
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth
    1) Can't get the Wish ability of an Efreeti or a Noble Dijinni by Shapechange, as it's a spell-like, which Shapechange doesn't grant. As is the Hezrou's. As is the Pit Fiend's.
    I didn't even notice they had those. Well, guess I adjust it.

    (Btw, its a Glabrezu that grants it, not the Hezrou... though who in the glass eye of Vecna came up with these names?!)

    2) As written (intended or not), it's the devil's choice on the specifics of the wish, just that the Wish must be made in the fulfilling of the contract - so, for example, a devil posing as a bailbondsman could make deals with those awaiting trial; devil covers the bail, subject agrees to stand trial all nice and properly when the court-schedualed date arrives. Devil covers bail, keeps excess. Subject shows up, devil gets the bail back. Subject doesn't show up, Devil get his soul. Win-Win.
    Well, 'I', the DM wouldn't let it use it that way. But it says grants the wish of their victim. Whats to stop a genie from doing it this way whenever it likes and getting huge wealth or stat increases or whatever?

    3)
    It's possible we've got some language drift, but as I understand it, X per Y per Z means that if X, Y, and Z are greater than 1, you've got X*Y*Z X's.
    As written, if you can make 30 deals with 30 different people, you grant 30 different wishes. So if you have Leadership, and get 30 "trivial" deals from the "client's" side, you can make 30 different wishes.
    Well, I'm lowering it to 1 wish per day, period. That way he must focus on each soul more.

    Oh, and what happens when, for whatever reason, somone fails to fulfil a contract with two or more of these critters?
    What kind of DM would put himself in that fantastically unlikely predicament? However, in case we're dealing with a loopy masochist, I'll specify.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    How pissed off would this guy be if a level 20 necromancer makes a deal with him just before stashing his soul in a large specially prepared gem?

    Here's another thought; a high-level mage with some friends makes a deal with one of these guys, and he and his friends later go to the demon's home and turn him into a lemure; what happens a) to the souls, and b) to the deal?
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Fangthane
    How pissed off would this guy be if a level 20 necromancer makes a deal with him just before stashing his soul in a large specially prepared gem?
    "Their spirit, reguardless of any spell, appears before the soulhawker."

    I guess I'll have to also state 'and supernatural ability'.

    Here's another thought; a high-level mage with some friends makes a deal with one of these guys, and he and his friends later go to the demon's home and turn him into a lemure; what happens a) to the souls, and b) to the deal?
    Thats why he has scrying at will. He can keep careful tabs on those he makes a deal with. Also, and I'm saying it one more time only, he has a 27 intelligence. This contract will be very careful to state that this kind of thing is forbidden.

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Well, y'see, the reason I ask is one of the other guys (when yet another was DM'ing a while back) had a wizard with a 32 Int... He could have tied this guy in a knot of logic and used Jesuits to do it. ;)
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by Fangthane
    Well, y'see, the reason I ask is one of the other guys (when yet another was DM'ing a while back) had a wizard with a 32 Int... He could have tied this guy in a knot of logic and used Jesuits to do it. ;)
    Ouch... and how'd he manage that (and what level was he)?

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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Heh... He was 20th level, top stat in int, put points into it, had a bonus from a p-class, think he'd read some books too but not sure, and I'm not sure whether he had a Headband or not; but realistically, he could have potentially had an int in the mid-high 30s (18+5+5+6+p-class) at that point... Not that this guy's int isn't highly impressive, but a tweaked wizard build is something scary to behold...

    I'd give you this though; the average character, even the average wizard, is unlikely to be much, if any, smarter than he is. *:) Actually, regressing him a little he probably would have had about a 26-28 at level 15ish, so that devil's on a path to similar smarts
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    Default Re: [Creature] He was in a bind 'cos he was way be

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    (Btw, its a Glabrezu that grants it, not the Hezrou... though who in the glass eye of Vecna came up with these names?!)
    Well, that's what I get for posting when late for work. Also, the Solar has Wish 1/day as a spell-like. Not that it matters overly much.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble

    Well, 'I', the DM wouldn't let it use it that way. But it says grants the wish of their victim. Whats to stop a genie from doing it this way whenever it likes and getting huge wealth or stat increases or whatever?
    Setting the situation - your Soulhawker has the nifty ability to pretend to be a normal human. An Efreeti doesn't.

    "Why, I bet you wish I could just conjour up the gold to post bail for you, so you could be out of here; but if you swear on your soul to me that you will return for your schedualed trial at the appointed time, I can do so... for you."

    As the person who posted bail, he gets it back when the guy stands trial. If he doesn't, the Soulhawker gets the guy's soul. As far as the Soulhawker is concerned, this is Win-Win .... as long as the subject isn't strictly required to use the phrase "I wish" in there. Even if he is......

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
    Well, I'm lowering it to 1 wish per day, period. That way he must focus on each soul more.

    What kind of DM would put himself in that fantastically unlikely predicament? However, in case we're dealing with a loopy masochist, I'll specify.
    Ah, but it's not an issue of the DM putting himself in that fantastically unlikely predicament - it's an issue of the players manuevering him into it. There's a distinction. DM has more things to track, and is outnumbered. It's a pretty good bet that it's possible for the players to rig the game.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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