Blog Archive

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Skin Devils - Ability Score Thieves

Humanoids with light grey skin, large-sized hands, feet and ears - they can usually pass for human in the distance, bad weather or when wearing a cowl. Stronger than average in strength and speed, they don't look particularly threatening. Their palms have small sticky bulbs that instantly attach to any other living flesh in comes in contact with, While this appendage immediately releases, but when it does, they tear away some of their victim's abilities. This body theft is their primary skill focus; they seem to master physical attacks and strategies in order to better steal abilities from their victims.

Because of their reputation as body thiefs, Gleshialis or Skin Devils as they are usually called, spend their lives as highway brigands trying to stay ahead of lawful forces that hunt them down, They often lurk outside dungeons in small groups, scouting for potential victims who are about to go inside or leave- but they rarely go inside dungeons themselves. Most are evil and greedy but not particularly bloodthirsty despite their reputations. They will sometimes use the threat of permanently stealing a creature's abilities in order to extract information. They are notorious drunks, few of them are able to handle strong alcohol, and get addicted quickly to almost any foreign substance which is one of many reasons why their leaders avoid cities if they can make their profits in raiding or on the road.

Skin Devils
CR 2
NE         Humanoid
Init +0; Perception +5

AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+4 Armor, +1 natural)
hp 15 (2d10+4)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Long sword +3 (1d8+3)
Special Absorb Touch +14 vs CMD

Skin devils are masters of melee combat, and quickly attempt to tear down their foes. Usually found in small groups, they disdain range combat with intelligent creatures, as they need to be able to touch an opponent in order to temporarily absorb a feature or ability the creature has.

Morale 15 (As the default save, if they are inflicted in the middle of a group.)

Str 12, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB 13 CMD 21
Feats Weapon Focus (Long sword), Combat Expertise
Skills Perception +5, Craft (Armor or Weapons) +5, Acrobatics +5, Survival +5
Languages Common, Dwarven or Minotaur
SQ Absorb 1 Feature

Absorb: Skin Devils have the unique ability to absorb other creature's abilities, ability scores, specific skills, class features or even spells. In order to do this they must touch the creature they wish to absorb the feature. While some believe that this absorption steals the feature, this is not true, it enables the skin devil to borrow it temporarily. They are able to steal from any physical ability score (strength, constitution, dexterity or charisma), Their victim must make a fortitude save to suffer half the absorption, their ability score loss returns in 24 hours. Once a victim has an ability score stolen from them, they are immune to other thefts of the same ability score for the next twelve hours.

Absorb:  Gain 1d6 at 2 HD, lasts one hour
               Gain 1d8 at 5 HD or 1 Spell Level (2/day), lasts six hours
               Gain 1d6 X 2 at 8HD or 2 Spell Levels or 1 Class Feature (3/day), lasts 12 hours
               Gain 1d6 X 3 at 12HD or 4 Spell Levels or 1 Class Feature or 1 Racial Feature (5/day) lasts                                 24 hours

By Racial Levels
2 HD  Absorb 1 feature, +2 Str, +2 Con, + 2 Dex; +1 AC
3 HD SR 5, Immune to Poison, Resist 5 cold, acid & Electricity
4 HD +2 str, + 2 Con, + 2 Dex; Gain 1 Feat; +1 AC
5 HD Absorb 2 feature, Immune to Polymorph, Resist 5 cold, acid & Electricity
6 HD SR 10, Uncanny defence; +1 AC
7 HD +2 str, + 2 Con, + 2 Dex; Gain 1 Feat
8 HD Absorb 3 features,  ; +1 AC
9 HD SR 15, Immune to Petrification, Resist 10 cold, acid & Electricity
10 HD +2 str, + 2 Con, + 2 Dex; Gain 1 Feat; +1 AC
11 HD Gain 1 Feat; +1 AC
12 HD Absorb 4 features, SR 20; +1 AC
+1 HD or Level: Gain +1 on SR by HD or level   

Skin Devils can veer away from these racial levels by taking a standard class, but if they do they cannot increase in their natural humanoid racial levels.

Side Note: Unlike a lot of other humanoids I post, I wouldn't really want this as something available for players. It makes a great threat, but nothing that works as a player character, at least a regular character but possible for a short term game sessions.

Thursday, 14 May 2015


A horror monster from the 80's, which I have used as a creepy-crawler many times in my games. Often seen as genie-like beings, tempting players with favours and rewards until they risk calling them too many times or are seen as vulnerable, then these figures will turn the table and try to capture one of the party members inside the box.

One idea, if some of your gaming party is away, instead of cancelling a game, players may find themselves inside the Cenob Box, to do missions of rescuing or finding treasures.


Lawful Evil     Medium Outsider
Init +6 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12

AC 19 touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 110hp (13d10+39 con)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +6

Defensive Abilities  
DR  10/+1  Immune: Fear, Pain, Blindness, Paralyzation, Petrification  
Resistance: All Elemental 20  

Speed Fly 50 ft.
Melee Scythe or Whip +16/+11 (1d10+3)
Special Attacks: Hooks of Pain

Spell Like Abilities: Cast as 13th level Necromancer. They are able to use each of their spell-effects once a day. Every time one of their Hooks of Pain contacts, they are able to recast any one of their spells again.

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 9
Base Atk +13 CMB +16 CMD 28
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skill: +9 Bluff , +12 Craft (Armor and Chains) , +15 Knowledge (arcana, planes, religion) , +12 Perception , +10 Sense Motive , +12 Stealth
Languages Dwarf, Minotaur, Kyton, Elf, Common

Environment                             Any Mortal Plane (Always found near a Cenob Box)
Organization                              Small Units (1-3)
Treasure Value                          Half Normal  (Small bits of treasure and magic that can be worn)

Spell Like Abilities: Cast as 13th level Priest; Saving Throw (DC 13 + spell level)

Detect: Magic, Invisibility, Illusion (Constant)
Rays of: enfeeblement, paralyze, rusting & fear (all usable 1 / day)
Touches of: Silence, Confusion, Blindness, Polymorph, Electricity (11-20) (all usable 1 / day)

Field of Mercy: Cenobites radiate a 25 foot radius of empathy towards outer-planar beings. Any non-natives that approach a Cenobite on a mortal plane must beat a Will DC 24 to break the field and act normally. However, they are unable to take physical actions or cast spells against a Cenobite until the second round. This effect likewise prevents a Cenobite to take any counter action on planars until the third round. Meaning, on the second round they are totally defenseless against a creature in their field who has made their saving throw. This is a constant effect that they cannot evade. This effects only the Cenobites, not the Cenob Box or their mortal servant.

The Cenobites are outer-planar beings that seek to cause suffering to mortals.  Most were former mortals themselves who manipulated an arcane device called the Cenob Box, which is often used to give physical pleasures, but its main purpose can be used to summon these horrific beings that brings mortals to their world. Most forced into the device, endlessly suffer, but a few are transformed into beings who serve the device, these are the Cenobites. They appear as pale skin humanoids often with visual signs of torture on their bodies, wearing deep-black leather armor. They seem to lack emotion, except for when their sadistic side comes out when interrogating or attacking mortals. Most use scythes or whips, but a small number use other types of weapons.

The Cenob Box is actually a portal to the Demi-Plane of Pain. Cenobites can only come to mortal worlds when summoned through this device. Most who use the devise seek physical pleasure until that sensation is lost - and they are driven to seek the suffering of others. Eventually those who uses the device, can summon the Cenobites, once every 24 hours. While they come to serve the wielder, they always require a "pound of flesh" before they return to the Box. Wielders instinctively know the Cennobites obey the holder of the Cenob Box by attacking, capturing or otherwise destroying an
enemy. When they are able to incapacitate a victim, they drag them into the Cenob Portal and in return the wielder is given a permanent boon 1-3 hp. What few wielders realize is that if they are unsuccessful at finding a victim at least once every ten days, the Cenobites may punish the wielder by permanently draining the wielder 2-5 hp.

While outer-planar, Cenobites prefer the company of mortal beings. They are sometimes seen in medical houses or places or torture, just to hear the screams of victims. They have a deep fear of other Outer planar beings, even those they should have some connection to. They emanate a Field of Mercy which enables them to re-enter the Cenob Box to avoid confrontation. They understand though, if the current mortal wielder is unable to escape, the Cenob box might be found by those they are unable to manipulate.

Hooks of Pain (Su) Cenobites can summon chained hooks to attack a singular victim at +13 to touch attack, inflicting a cumulative 1d6 dmg and a -2 on all rolls (second hook inflicts 2d6 dmg and -4 to rolls, etc.) Each time a chain attaches to a victim, it connects to the nearest hard surface; if the hook does not hit a victim, it disintegrates the next round. When at least three chained hooks are on a victim, the Cenobites can call the victim into the Cenob Box, or whenever they leave. Each of the first three hooks add 20% chance, additional hooks adds +5%. If the victim fails this roll, they are sucked into the Cenob Box. The only way to free the victim is to defeat the Cenobite or destroy the chains holding the victim (AC 30, Requires a +3 weapon, 50 hp).  What many don't realize is that a Cenobite may summon the Hooks even without a Cenob Box, but then it is done merely to inflict suffering.

Cenob Box: A small, intricately carved wooden, bone or metal box with small sliding pieces that when re-positioned change the carvings on the device.  While believed to be a singular artifact, they are in fact several versions in any given mortal plane. These boxes are portals to the Demi-Plane of Pain. By manipulating the pictures, wielders receive happy sensations. The first few times, it is always positive (24 hour +4 bonus to their preferred ability score, rush of happy memories or feelings, etc) but by the fourth time, these leave the wielder wanting something else - usually to inflict pain on others.

Box wielders must then call out the Cenobites at least once every ten days, these beings appear for their sacrifice, and if no one else is there, the Cenobites take their sacrifice from the wielder.  If a wielder is able to go more than 99 days without providing a sacrifice, the Cenobites will either teleport the Box away or begin to tempt another would-be wielder to take it from the current wielder. Once the Cenob Box summons the Cenobite back, it cannot be used again for 24 hours, if they were not successful in having a sacrifice, they must wait 48 hours.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Abandoned (Lost Dabus)

I  love the planescape rules, the ideas of being able to travel and adventure in other worlds and face demons or angels. Here is something I borrowed and used a few times, a lost figure that could represent a pathway for some of your players.

Abandoned  (Lost Dabus)

Size/Type:                 Medium Outsider (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice:                   3d8-3 (14 hp)
Initiative:                  +1
Speed:                       30ft.
Armor Class:              13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+4
Attack:                      Masterwok Tool +3 (1d6)
Special Qualities: Hover
Saves:                        Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities:                   Str 11, Dex 13, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 9
Skills:         Craft +13, Disable Device +10, Perception +12, Knowledge (The Planes) +8, Climb +10
Feats:                        Skill Focus (Craft), Endurance
Environment:             Any isolated location
Organization:             Solitary
Challenge Rating:       3
Treasure:                   Masterwork Tools
Alignment:                 Chaotic Neutral (30%), Lawful Neutral (50%)
Advancement:            By HD, those higher than 10 have class levels

Tall, slender humanoids, usually dark grey or light yellow in skin colour, with short horns at their side. Many wear faded work uniforms from their previous existence, along with tools or other personal artefacts. Dabus are best known as workers who maintain the Great Portal city, these outcasts are individuals, usually called Abandoned who were banished from their homes, and in their absence are becoming something else entirely. Reknown for the riddle picture flow or rebus that floats above their heads as this is how they communicate with other creatures. When asked about how they came to be Abandoned, they usually show a picture of a circular tube tearing apart.

Abandoned are solitary beings found in virtually any remote place, usually mortal worlds, rarely found with others of their kind. Many collect debris they find, and construct odd physical replicas of places they once knew well. Their absence from their home both makes them sad but it also inspires them to learn to be more than they ever were. The first thing most Abandoned learn is to use their rebus to imitate a physical mouth and imitate the most common language they hear.  They are often seen as local experts, and help to trade or make connections with beings who would otherwise not get along or trade, acting as a middle-man to distinct parties. They seem to have goals that are little understood, collecting items of indecipherable purpose that will help in tasks later on in their or their allies lived.

The Abandoned are not combative creatures but they find and fit into the roles they have found outside their worker existence. They go on adventures both to build up alliances and to find the unseemingly odd objects that they are bound to collect. They fight with weapons they summon, being fully proficient even if they have never touched the weapon before.

4 HD Speak Other, Gain +2 on Ability Scores
5 HD Summon Dagger
6 HD Magic Circle 10 ft, Gain +2 on Ability Scores
7 HD Summon Whip
8 HD Object Reading, Summon Small Objects, Gain +2 on Ability Scores
9 HD Summon Cage
10 HD Summon Sword, Gain +2 on Ability Scores
11 HD Open Travel Portal (30% chance)

Hover (Ex): A dabus floats off the ground, in a manner similar to flight, save that it cannot hover higher than it's natural reach. They are unimpeded by terrain of any type but they are not considered as flying for effects that interact with that (like wind effects).

Speak Other: Can communicate with any one creature using that creature's native language via a small mouth they project. Their rebus copies the speech words, so everyone can understand what is being said.

Summon Weapon (Dagger, Whip or Sword): Weapons are summoned within two feet of the Abandoned. They attack as if proficient with these summoned weapons. If they lose the weapon (such as being disarmed) they are able to revisualize the weapon automatically the next round.

Magic Circle 10 ft: They can project a ten foot circle, gaining a +2 to attacks versus one specific type of creature. It is a ten minute ritual to change the creature their magic circle affects.

Summon Small Objects: They can visualize any item that is worth less than 100 GP and weighs less than 50 pounds, they can then materialize the item out of their picture flow to use the same as their weapons.

Summon Cage: Can summon a 20 X 10 ft cage within fifty feet of themselves. The cage has standard dimensions and weight, and lasts for ten minutes per HD of the summoner. They can summon it once a day.  Once active, anyone inside the cage cannot summon other items or beings. An abandoned can enter the cage, but if they do, they cannot leave unless they end the spell effect.

Open Travel Portal: The Abandoned can automatically open any portal that they are within fifty feet and direct to any known location. They do not need portal keys, they can open them at will.