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The Pit Fiend


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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PIT FIEND

Nobles of the Nine Hells, pit fiends form an elite ruling class that oversees vast numbers of lesser devils. Only the archdevils known as the Lords of the Nine stand higher than the pit fiends.
Each pit fiend is lord of a large domain within one of the layers of the Nine Hells and is vassal to the archdevil who rules that layer. A pit fiend might govern a city, command a fortress, lead a great legion, or serve as a seneschal or counselor for an archdevil. With the exception of Asmodeus, each Lord of the Nine commands no more than a dozen or so pit fiends.
As the lords, barons, viziers, and generals of the Nine Hells, pit fiends rarely confront adventurers in person. They are the progenitors of devilish schemes, and they step in only when important plans go awry or when great plots reach fruition. In the Nine Hells proper, pit fiends command vast numbers of lesser devils. Penetrating the defenses of a pit fiend's castle and destroying the mighty devil in its own demesne is a deed of truly epic proportions.

Description

This hulking devil stands 12 feet tall and has red scales, leathery wings, and a long whiplike tail. It carries a massive mace and wears an ornate breastplate decorated with evil runes and symbols.

Pit Fiend Level 26 Elite Soldier (Leader)

Large immortal humanoid (devil) XP 18,000

Initiative +22 Senses Perception +23; darkvision

Aura of Fear (Fear) aura 5; enemies in the aura take a –2 penalty on attack rolls.

Aura of Fire (Fire) aura 5; enemies that enter or start their turns in the aura take 15 fire damage.

HP 350; Bloodied 175
AC 44; Fortitude 42, Reflex 38, Will 40
Resist 30 fire, 15 poison
Saving Throws +2
Speed 12, fly 12 (clumsy), teleport 10
Action Points 1

Melee Flametouched Mace (standard; at-will) • Fire, Weapon
Reach 2; +31 vs. AC; 1d12+11 fire damage plus ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).

Melee Tail Sting (standard; at-will) • Poison
+31 vs. AC; 1d6+11 damage, and the pit fiend may make a free followup attack. Followup: +29 vs. Fortitude; ongoing 15 poison damage, and the target is weakened (save ends both effects).

Melee Pit Fiend Frenzy (standard; at-will)
The pit fiend makes a flametouched mace attack and a tail sting attack.

Ranged Point of Terror (minor; at-will) • Fear
Range 5; +30 vs. Will; the target takes a –5 penalty to all defenses until the end of the pit fiend's next turn.

Ranged Irresistible Command (minor 1/round; at-will) • Charm, Fire
Range 10; affects one allied devil of lower level than the pit fiend; the target immediately slides up to 5 squares and explodes, dealing 2d10+5 fire damage to all creatures in a close burst 2. The exploding devil is destroyed.

Infernal Summons (standard; encounter) • Conjuration
The pit fiend summons a group of devil allies. Summoned devils roll initiative to determine when they act in the initiative order and gain a +4 bonus to attack rolls as long as the pit fiend is alive. They remain until they are killed, dismissed by the pit fiend (free action), or the encounter ends. PCs do not earn experience points for killing these summoned creatures. The pit fiend chooses to summon one of the following groups of devils:
• 8 legion devil legionnaires (level 21), or
• 2 war devils (level 22), or
• 1 war devil (level 22) and 4 legion devil legionnaires (level 21)

Tactical Teleport (standard; recharge 4 5 6) • Teleportation
The pit fiend can teleport up to 2 allies within 10 squares of it. The targets appear in any other unoccupied squares within 10 squares of the pit fiend.

Alignment Evil
Languages Supernal

Skills Bluff +27, Intimidate +27, Religion +24

Str 32 (+24) Dex 24 (+20) Wis 20 (+18)
Con 27 (+21) Int 22 (+19) Cha 28 (+22)

Equipment flametouched mace, noble signet ring

Pit Fiend Tactics

A pit fiend fights close to its enemies, catching them in its aura of fear and aura of fire. On the first round of combat, it spends an action point to use infernal summons. It then uses point of terror against a tough-looking foe and tactical teleport to place two allies in flanking positions around that foe. With its remaining minor action, the pit fiend uses irresistible command on an ally within range.
A pit fiend alternates between point of terror and irresistible command, sometimes using both if it has a spare move action it can replace with a minor action. Otherwise, the pit fiend uses pit fiend frenzy, teleporting as needed to gain a better position.
A pit fiend does not sacrifice its life needlessly and makes a tactical retreat if death is imminent.

Pit Fiend Lore

A character knows the following information with a successful Religion check:

DC 25: Pit fiends are the nobles of the Nine Hells. Each pit fiend serves as a vassal to one of the nine archdevils and commands a fortress, city, or army in its master's domain.
DC 30: Once every 99 years, a pit fiend can grant a mortal's wish by performing a terrible ritual. Only the most powerful and promising of mortals are offered such a temptation.
DC 35: Well-known pit fiends include Baalzephon, one of the powerful circle of pit fiends known as the Dark Eight; Gazra, who governs the city of Abriymoch in Phlegethos, the Fourth Hell; and Baalberith, the major-domo of the palace of Asmodeus.

What do you think?

P>S> There is a picture of the pitfiend on the Ampersand page at the wotc web page. Also notice the director's chair at the top of the page.


Is that a 4e Stat block?


Tobus Neth wrote:

Is that a 4e Stat block?

Yes.


To me, it looks much easier to run than the normal 3.5 suite of spell-like abilities. No flipping to the PHB to see what a spell does makes me a happy person.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some facts, first. Doing some cut and pasting, the word-count for the above is 433 words for game stats (excluding tactics); 915 full block.

The word countage for 3.5e version (per d20srd) is: 582 stat-block (excluding tactics); 791 full block.

So it’s less interesting for more word countage.

> What do you think?

Pit fiends are now giants with the a flaming and fear aura and a few tactical abilities. What a lot of ****. Where’s it’s frickin’ magic? How’s it going to tempt any mortals (ie. grant wishes), confuse the minds of its foes, attack foes at range, turn invisible, dispel its foes’ magic?

Oh, and no feats? And where’s the treasure?

Where’s the CR? Lack of it means there’s probably no templates.* You don’t wanna actually have to think in a game, do you?

You don’t wanna do any research (and make notes about spells & SLAs) before a game do you? Nah, reading’s for geeks and dweebs. Oh hang on, that Player’s Handbook’s 300 pages long. I’m not gonna read that. I’ll just play WOW or watch “braindead talent show 200x”.

* Oh, it’s “level 26”. Perhaps there are templates. But I didn’t want to break into the sarcasm.

(Evil Genius, I’m not mocking you over your "flipping to the PHB" comment. I’m trying to demonstrate how their target market probably thinks.)

It's scary how much they're dumbing the game down. I'm just not impressed at all. No doubt it makes things much easier for CRPG programmers though.


ericthecleric wrote:

It's scary how much they're dumbing the game down. I'm just not impressed at all. No doubt it makes things much easier for CRPG programmers though.

Hmmm, I'm rather intelligent (at least I think so) but I absolutely love the new game stats - this makes me want to play the game with what seems to be more dynamic with less math. Personally I don't like referencing crap in the middle of a battle. I guess they're "dumbing it down" for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pit Fiend Article wrote:


Ranged Irresistible Command (minor 1/round; at-will) • Charm, Fire
Range 10; affects one allied devil of lower level than the pit fiend; the target immediately slides up to 5 squares and explodes, dealing 2d10+5 fire damage to all creatures in a close burst 2. The exploding devil is destroyed.

This is my favorite. :)

If this actually existed, packs of devils would attack pit fiends on sight!

"No way in Hell I'm your ally! Go blow up someone else, you flaming piece of ****!"

:)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Whimsy, I'm pleased for you if you like the stats more.
It doesn't appeal to me, though. Seeing that makes me more of a grognard. Perhaps that stat block is for a miniatures version, and the "real" version is bigger in the 4e MM. I'll have to take a good, long look at the 4e rules before I buy them- or not.

Something else I noticed. It appears that XP values for monsters are now fixed instead of changing based on average party level. Is that a good thing or not? I'm not sure.


ericthecleric wrote:

Some facts, first. Doing some cut and pasting, the word-count for the above is 433 words for game stats (excluding tactics); 915 full block.

The word countage for 3.5e version (per d20srd) is: 582 stat-block (excluding tactics); 791 full block.

So it’s less interesting for more word countage.

> What do you think?

Pit fiends are now giants with the a flaming and fear aura and a few tactical abilities. What a lot of ****. Where’s it’s frickin’ magic? How’s it going to tempt any mortals (ie. grant wishes), confuse the minds of its foes, attack foes at range, turn invisible, dispel its foes’ magic?

Oh, and no feats? And where’s the treasure?

Where’s the CR? Lack of it means there’s probably no templates.* You don’t wanna actually have to think in a game, do you?

You don’t wanna do any research (and make notes about spells & SLAs) before a game do you? Nah, reading’s for geeks and dweebs. Oh hang on, that Player’s Handbook’s 300 pages long. I’m not gonna read that. I’ll just play WOW or watch “braindead talent show 200x”.

* Oh, it’s “level 26”. Perhaps there are templates. But I didn’t want to break into the sarcasm.

(Evil Genius, I’m not mocking you over your "flipping to the PHB" comment. I’m trying to demonstrate how their target market probably thinks.)

It's scary how much they're dumbing the game down. I'm just not impressed at all. No doubt it makes things much easier for CRPG programmers though.

Pit fiends have been "giants with flaming/fear auras" since 3rd Edition. They can also grant wishes, and more often as well (99 days as opposed to one-per-year).

As for attacking at a range, the only truly worthwhile ranged attack it ever had was meteor swarm. Of course, this is a pit fiend in a "leader" role, and we know that many monsters have different builds for different roles: I can easily see a pit fiend "controller" having more ranged capability.
Since they also have no Hit Dice (which is just levels by another name), they obviously have no feats. Monsters not having feats isnt new: they've BEEN saying that for months, now.
I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, and I can say that I also dont like trying to research every spell-like ability that every monster can use in my adventures (which becomes increasingly common the higher level you get). In my Age of Worms games, when I have time, I often just automatically apply the obvious spell buffs (like mage armor) and research the spells that the NPC will likely use. This means that many stat blocks get whittled down quite a bit, leaving me with the "useful" stuff.
As for treasure building? Well, I'm sure its based off of level (which it pretty much is right now), so having a Treasure line in every monster isnt really necessary. Since in 3rd Edition not every monster has treasure, it is likely to be assumed that smart DMs will make up the difference in other ways, as they always have before.

I dont know why you are whining about it having a level in place of a CR, since the two accomplish the same thing: determining at what point monsters make whatever challenge for a party of whatever level. The main difference is that since they've had awhile to refine a "level-system" that it might actually be, you know, accurate. Currently, templates work off of the CR system, which can get pretty clunky, especially since templates ramp on the CR based only off of Hit Dice (which are generated from type, which are also NOT equal), so you can get some pretty random results from slapping on one template. Maybe this time things will be more consistent.

...and of course the post gets wrapped up with the obligatory "they are making the game for morons and plotting to make it into a CRPG/MMORPG".


"I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, and I can say that I also dont like trying to research every spell-like ability that every monster can use in my adventures (which becomes increasingly common the higher level you get). "

Considering your sentence structure and grammar, that's quite a boast.

Sorry, I had to...

Any DM worth his dice will look over a monster before he throws it at the party - even going so far as to jot notes down for biggies like the Pit Fiend to help him keep track of tactics and such. Also, it's not like they keep all those abilities locked away somewhere. When a monster uses fireball, it's the same fireball the players are using. If it's something unique, like an energy
draining kiss - they do a good job explaining it in the monster's entry.

And I have to say, sliding one of your allies towards the enemy and exploding them is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. It's at Buomman level.

Taldor

Barrow Wight wrote:
Any DM worth his dice will look over a monster before he throws it at the party - even going so far as to jot notes down for biggies like the Pit Fiend to help him keep track of tactics and such.

My sentiments exactly.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Things noted from the stat block:
---------
Type is designated by form (Humanoid), with subtypes for origin (Devil).

Bloodied HP threshold is listed since the players won't be capable of dividing by two. [sorry sorry...trying to keep this neutral].

It appears Poison is purely Diablo II style, damage over time, no ability score damage (which was new in 3rd so far as I know).

Devils now teleport shorter distances than they can walk.

Enormously powerful ruler of devils. Actions points: 1.

Fear appears to be generalized to "Penalty in combat", instead of running away.

4 Level 21 creatures noted as equivalent to 1 level 22. Semi-indicates that power creep is at 4x per level (vs. 2x per 2 levels in 3rd edition). Only one example however.

Damage modifiers match 3rd edition (32 Str giving +11 damage), but they added +13 to all the Ability score modifiers (1/2 score + 8, instead of 1/2 score - 5) for some other purpose I can't discern. Making "Dex Checks" and such would likely not have this, as a flat 11-13 would be added to the target number more often.

Given +11 added to saves to be set as "score" defenses, saves are roughly analogous to 3rd.

Creatures appear to get at least 1 standard action, 1 move action, and 1 minor action. The Pit Fiend has one "standard" action that combines two of its other "standard" actions though.
---------

Seems quite blah. Nifty combat abilities, no real flavor. Diet Pit Fiend.

Note to Antioch: The Pit Fiend can grant a wish every 99 years, not days, far less than currently.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Majuba wrote:


Note to Antioch: The Pit Fiend can grant a wish every 99 years, not days, far less than currently.

What's worse, is you KNOW that the Pit Fiend will spend those 99 years thinking up nasty ways to parse wishes like these.

:-)


Personally I don't have a problem with the *idea* of Irresistible Command, a pit fiend being able to destroy any devil he wants, no save for the devil, is a rather fearsome ability, for both potentially affected devils and mortals.

I do however have a problem with the "slides up to 5 squares" bit. Sorry, but to me reality isn't measured in squares, it's measured in feet (or meters for some).

While I don't mind using minis and a grid as an option for combat, I despise it being required for the game period.


Speaking supernal


Sir Kaikillah wrote:

PIT FIEND

...creatures in a close burst 2. The exploding devil is destroyed....

They need an errata, it should say: "The exploding devil is destroyed and removed from the board."

Hope these are really only the stats for the minis game. In my game I already make houserules which ban un-RPG words like: buff, pet, tank etc. because this really destroys flavor.


I... actually kind of like this. I personally like this a lot. Now foremost, I am *not* by any stretch a poor DM, but I have difficulty keeping track of monster's abilities. If I'm running a combat with three Bone Devils, an Ice Devil and its pet Imp, I likely will need to look things up in the book several times.

What's the area of effect for the Bone Devil's Wall of Ice? What benefits do Unholy Aura grant? How many inches of stone will it require to block the Detect Good ability of the Imp? Now maybe you folks can recite each of those things off the top of your head, but I'll prolly have to look those up.

Now as for something being lost in the switch from 3rd edition to 4th edition, I don't see much? How about we start with background detail, there's 185 words of it presented here. In the 3.5 Monster Manual? 86, and I'm not even counting the listed results of the Religion check.

Do I like what I'm seeing? Yup. Why? It's closer to 2nd edition. You wanna talk about being a Grognard? Well I consider myself one - since I'm still not over 2nd edition. Does this influence my opinion on what I've seen previewed? Yup. I *like* seeing a fixed experience point total, I don't care one whit if measurement is in squares or spaces since I can easily phrase it as "five foot blocks" or what have you. This thing seems simple to run, highly playable out of the box without having to spend time referencing multiple books before the session let alone during.

And on the subject of CR, it's something I've never gotten to work correctly. It's always felt wonky to me and been a mechanic that caused me to stumble through sessions and eventually give up on running sessions of my own creation and simply running premades via Dungeon Magazine (when it still ran, at least...) As for the lack of Templates, doesn't bother me. After all, a system that lets you create a Half-Dragon, Half-Demon, Half-Celestial is something I'm not particularly keen on. I'm no math whiz, but 3/2 is an improper fraction and just silly to boot.

This has turned into more of a rant than I had intended, but I'd really like to say this: When you say so much of what we've seen previewed is a departure from everything we know and call Dungeons and Dragons and that it's dead and its soul is gone... I think you're claiming that 3.X is Dungeons and Dragons. 2nd Edition lasted for 20+ years, and for some of us that is as much, if not more, the soul of Dungeons and Dragons than the entire run of the 3rd edition of the game. If 4th edition pulls the game back from the importance of number crunching and character optimization that for me was 3rd edition, I'll be happy. I think that the marketing we've seen has been absolutely atrocious but when you can cut through the crap and see what the people themselves are really trying to put forth, it's looking good to me.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Aargh. I detest using squares for distance. A monster with a reach of 2? I assume that means a 10' reach but it's sure not intuitive for me. I had to stop and read it twice. Ditto with a range of 5 and 10. My first thought was 10' seems like a rather short range for that attack.

As to the rest, I'm torn. Combat wise it would be a lot easier to run this pit fiend, which I guess is good. But what can it do besides fight? Are all of its noncombat powers left unexplained, a matter of DM fiat? Does it have no other spell like abilities than making other devils explode?

I'm left feeling like there should be a little bit more to the beasty but I'm not sure we're going to get it.


I use a hex map.


I can understand the love of a simpler foe for PCs, or at least more streamlined. Personally, I always like to have options. Sure, I'll have to look things up. I found I can do that while players deliberate over their own actions. As long as individual abilities aren't overly complicated, at least. But if you fight a foe and it uses wall of ice in one fight, it doesn't mean that it'll always use that attack. Keeps PCs on their toes. But that's my opinion, for what it's worth.


This monster just seems really boring to run for the DM. Something a level 26 creature simply shouldn't be. I count 3 choices for a DM after the first round of combat.

I have a number of issues with what I'm seeing in the new Pit Fiend, but my biggest worry is that it is indicative of the design team once again failing to get the higher levels done right the first time through. What I mean is, at level 26 your choices should be myriad, not confining. Weren't 4th edition monsters supposed to be designed with 'crazy outside the box' kind of thinking? Instead we get a monster who seems to be a pale shadow of his 3.5 self.

As a DM, my fun comes in large part from running cool monsters who can do cool things. For the record, blowing up your own recently-summoned troops is stupid, not cool.

Qadira

I like where this is heading. If every entry in the MM is like this one then running the game will definitely be less of a burden.

BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.

Qadira

I like where this is heading. If every entry in the MM is like this one then running the game will definitely be less of a burden.

BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.


Yes, but simply removing certain things doesn't always make it easier. What if the Pit Fiend is in a situation where combat isn't the main option? Oh wait - in 4th, combat is the only option. My bad. Everyone move 2 squares.

Qadira

Barrow Wight wrote:
Yes, but simply removing certain things doesn't always make it easier. What if the Pit Fiend is in a situation where combat isn't the main option? Oh wait - in 4th, combat is the only option. My bad. Everyone move 2 squares.

What do characters do when not in combat? Role play. I don't want rules to tell me how to do that.


I didn't say we need rules. But what about the "skills" a Pit Fiend might use while roleplaying NOT in combat? They can't do that anymore I guess. Just kill everything! Oooh - a unicorn - I cast Cloudkill!!!!


Barrow Wight wrote:
I didn't say we need rules. But what about the "skills" a Pit Fiend might use while roleplaying NOT in combat? They can't do that anymore I guess. Just kill everything! Oooh - a unicorn - I cast Cloudkill!!!!

Um, its right here: Bluff +27, Intimidate +27, Religion +24...oh, and those numbers in those parentheses next to their ability stats, those are the skill modifiers for their untrained skills.

Osirion

crosswiredmind wrote:
BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.

It is true that simplicity can be ideal. The Pit Fiend, new and improved with *less* abilities, now takes *more text* to describe.

This would be the opposite of 'simplicity,' methinks. If they think this is 'simplicity,' then, in internet parlance, 'they're doing it wrong.'

Every race and class having an assortment of different abilities that scale over the levels? Three different types of abilities, at will, per encounter and 'dailies' for each class? (Instead of one class, such as the Warlock, being all at will, and another, like the Wizard, being all 'dailies.') Monsters and PCs using completely different leveling and rules guidelines, forcing the use of two only somewhat compatible systems during every encounter?

Every single one of these things is *adding* complexity, not removing it. It seems increasingly the case that when the designers say, 'we are doing this because of X,' the rule change they then present *does the exact opposite.*

It isn't even a 4E issue. The same thing happened with 3.5, when the designer insisted that the change to Damage Reduction was to get rid of 'golf bag syndrome' where a fighter might have to carry a bunch of different swords around. Which was patently absurd, since the fighter needed no such thing, he just needed to carry his best sword, the one with the biggest 'plus' he can afford. In 3.5, with the 'fix,' he *now* has to carry a golf bag with different swords of Cold Iron, Silver, Adamantite, Good, Lawful, Holy, Epic, etc. The 'fix' *created the problem* that didn't exist before they tried to 'fix' it! And now 4E seems to be following that same line of logic, create a problem out of thin air, and then use it to justify changes.

In the attempt to 'fix' all of these suddenly made-up problems ('cause you better believe 'Christmas Tree syndrome' wasn't a 'problem' back when they were encouraging us to buy the Magic Item Compendium!), they end up breaking what wasn't actually broken...


The numbers are there...but Crosswiredmind doesn't want them there. I do, but there should be more... :edit: more than just numbers...


Set wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.

It is true that simplicity can be ideal. The Pit Fiend, new and improved with *less* abilities, now takes *more text* to describe.

To be fair, if the 3.5e statblock was self-contained, instead of basically referring you back to the PHB, it would absolutely dwarf the 4e statblock.


Barrow Wight wrote:
The numbers are there...but Crosswiredmind doesn't want them there. I do, but there should be more... :edit: more than just numbers...

And where do you pull that idea out of? I don't want a lot of fluff telling me what the game designer thinks the creature should be doing in a role playing situation. After all, if I created the RP situation then I ought to have a pretty good idea of what it is there for and why.

Combat needs numbers. I think they may be off base in their focus on "five cool things to do before it dies" in monster design. I like having options, even if those options are rarely used.

But too much "pit fiends act like this are *that* good at it just isn't that helpful to me as a DM. I suppose if they were creating yet another bizarro creature with no obvious use (Like a lot of latter MM critters), they might need to spend some time explaining just wtf they were thinking with this thing.

But in general? No, thanks.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmm it seems like a fairly good monster build from what i can tell although a bit bland. What caught my attention was the description of what the fear aura does. I mean they argue that having modifiers adds to book keeping but then they put in an affect that applies an extra modifier?

Seems to me that there will be as much book keeping in this edition as in the last one especially if a lot more monsters have abilities like that

Oh and on a side note i don't know about anyone else but for some reason seeing everything described in squares and not feet made me cringe a little


@ericthecleric: there is no CR in 4e. They use static XP-values / Level bases on a 1:1 fight...

@all: what makes me worry is, that they wanted to make a fight easier. but lets look at the pit fiend:

- keep track of fear aura
- keep track of fear-aura
- every round a save to end the mace's effect (wtf is this skirmish?)
- every round a save to end poison's effect (again...)
- and then he summons a max. of 8 allies to keep track of
- keep track teleport racharge (4 5 6 - variable recharge time?)

compared to the price for loosing it's flexibility: is that encounter really easier to run? I don't think so...

so overall its not that bad, but nothing i find genius...


new stat block wrote:
. . .the target immediately slides up to 5 squares and explodes, dealing 2d10+5 fire damage to all creatures in a close burst 2. The exploding devil is destroyed.

Me thinks the pit fiend has explosion dog envy.

Qadira

Barrow Wight wrote:
The numbers are there...but Crosswiredmind doesn't want them there. I do, but there should be more... :edit: more than just numbers...

No. I saw them and I assumed you did too, hence my confusion as to your meaning. I assumed you were looking for some kind of non-combat motivational or behavioral mechanic.


No problem


I'm envisioning the fight against this guy, and I keep hearing Super Mario music. The image of little video-game devils sliding around and exploding is stuck in my head--and it's a pretty silly one. I guess if I were still 13 I would think it was cool.

As a DM, it seems like this pit fiend might be slightly easier to play... but nowhere near as much fun.

Qadira

Barrow Wight wrote:
No problem

It's all cool. No worries.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:
It isn't even a 4E issue. The same thing happened with 3.5, when the designer insisted that the change to Damage Reduction was to get rid of 'golf bag syndrome' where a fighter might have to carry a bunch of different swords around. Which was patently absurd, since the fighter needed no such thing, he just needed to carry his best sword, the one with the biggest 'plus' he can afford. In 3.5, with the 'fix,' he *now* has to carry a golf bag with different swords of Cold Iron, Silver, Adamantite, Good, Lawful, Holy, Epic, etc. The 'fix' *created the problem* that didn't exist before they tried to 'fix' it!

And the solution to the problem they caused with the above 'fix'?

Weapon Crystals!

Now it's a frostblade...Now it's a flameblade! Ta-Da!

You've still got golf-bag syndrome, but now your bag's full of magic marbles instead of weapons.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Belfur wrote:
In my game I already make houserules which ban un-RPG words like: buff, pet, tank etc. because this really destroys flavor.

You can certainly discourage it during in-character speech, by having the NPCs give them a blank look every time they use one of these terms.

I don't know how you'd enforce it for out of character speech, except to ban ooc speech completely, or penalise it ("OK, you've spent a minute dictating what the rest of the party should do. Guess you've not paused for breath to cast any spells for the next 10 rounds...<grin>").


crosswiredmind wrote:

I like where this is heading. If every entry in the MM is like this one then running the game will definitely be less of a burden.

BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.

The funny (read: tragic) thing is, they've worked so hard to make the stat block simpler and all they've accomplished is making the game more complex. Have you noticed all the things the DM's going to have to keep track of? Sheesh!


Beastman wrote:

@ericthecleric: there is no CR in 4e. They use static XP-values / Level bases on a 1:1 fight...

@all: what makes me worry is, that they wanted to make a fight easier. but lets look at the pit fiend:

- keep track of fear aura
- keep track of fear-aura
- every round a save to end the mace's effect (wtf is this skirmish?)
- every round a save to end poison's effect (again...)
- and then he summons a max. of 8 allies to keep track of
- keep track teleport racharge (4 5 6 - variable recharge time?)

compared to the price for loosing it's flexibility: is that encounter really easier to run? I don't think so...

so overall its not that bad, but nothing i find genius...

With the caveat that this is a Level 26 encounter and of course it is going to be somewhat complicated, try imagining doing an encounter with 2 pit fiends in 3.5e version (with a full complement of 4 summoned devils). Yeesh...But here is some of the time savings (its hard to say what effect the summoned devils will have since we don't have access to their new stats):

- There are far less melee attacks in the 4e version (6 versus 2).
- No regeneration. Don't have to keep track of lethal versus non-lethal damage.
- No disease.
- Poison damage is straight up hit point damage instead of ability damage. The PCs don't have to recalculate any math based on the CON damage.
- No SR, no more caster level checks.
- The fear aura and fear attacks have no danger of automatically splitting up the party.
- No more feats. You don't have to worry about additional attacks from Cleave or Greater Cleave. You don't have to recalculate attack bonus and damage because of Power Attack.
- No SLAs, the most important being no greater dispel magic, so you don't have to worry about dispelling PC buffs.
- On going damage is a set amount, so no dice roll. However, this is off-set by the saving throw mechanic (which is a simple d20 roll that will remove all of these effects 5% of the time on one roll).

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Barrow Wight wrote:
And I have to say, sliding one of your allies towards the enemy and exploding them is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. It's at Buomman level.

You'd better keep well away from Allen Stewart's thread 'Killer DM runs Age of Worms', since that's exactly how the PCs (eventually) got rid of one of Greyhawk's most iconic villains in the penultimate chapter; by creating a new PC with dozens of contingent effects, triggered on death, then jumping down the creature's throat.

And the less said about the squadrons of 'kamikaze squid-bats' they recruited from the Far Realm, the better...


I think that forcing summoned allies around the battlefield (via teleportation of compelled movement) and then forcibly ending their existence is a great idea for an evil leader type who has absolutely no regard for this underlings. Failure is not an option when you are a pit fiend's ally. I can just imagine devils that have been beaten down by the PCs screaming in terror as fire consumes their bodies, or how screeching devils, knowing the end is nigh, forcibly being dragged across the battlefield by some unseen force. I can see all kinds of cool ways to implement and describe this ability.


bubbagump wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:

I like where this is heading. If every entry in the MM is like this one then running the game will definitely be less of a burden.

BTW - I do not see the removal of unnecessary complexity as dumbing it down. Simplicity can also lead to truly elegant solutions, and by the looks of things they may just have pulled it off.

The funny (read: tragic) thing is, they've worked so hard to make the stat block simpler and all they've accomplished is making the game more complex. Have you noticed all the things the DM's going to have to keep track of? Sheesh!

Flat penalties and pre-determined damage is much, much easier to keep track of then the effects of ability damage and de-buffing.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sir Kaikillah wrote:

PIT FIEND

Pit Fiend Tactics

A pit fiend fights close to its enemies, catching them in its aura of fear and aura of fire. On the first round of combat, it spends an action point to use infernal summons. It then uses point of terror against a tough-looking foe and tactical teleport to place two allies in flanking positions around that foe. With its remaining minor action, the pit fiend uses irresistible command on an ally within range.

Wow. That's just stupid. Summon a bunch of level 21+ minions to fight the heroes and blow one of them up right away to do a possible 25 points of fire damage. I can't even articulate how stupid this tactical write-up is.


DaveMage wrote:
Pit Fiend Article wrote:


Ranged Irresistible Command (minor 1/round; at-will) • Charm, Fire
Range 10; affects one allied devil of lower level than the pit fiend; the target immediately slides up to 5 squares and explodes, dealing 2d10+5 fire damage to all creatures in a close burst 2. The exploding devil is destroyed.

This is my favorite. :)

If this actually existed, packs of devils would attack pit fiends on sight!

"No way in Hell I'm your ally! Go blow up someone else, you flaming piece of ****!"

:)

Like the lesser devils have a choice? I really think blowing up her allies (yeah all Pit Fiends are chicks) is a cool trick. Devilish I say.


As hinted in the podcast, Poison deals Hit Point damage.


Reckless wrote:
Sir Kaikillah wrote:

PIT FIEND

Pit Fiend Tactics

A pit fiend fights close to its enemies, catching them in its aura of fear and aura of fire. On the first round of combat, it spends an action point to use infernal summons. It then uses point of terror against a tough-looking foe and tactical teleport to place two allies in flanking positions around that foe. With its remaining minor action, the pit fiend uses irresistible command on an ally within range.

Wow. That's just stupid. Summon a bunch of level 21+ minions to fight the heroes and blow one of them up right away to do a possible 25 points of fire damage. I can't even articulate how stupid this tactical write-up is.

See I think it's cool. I also think her blowing up her allies is a last ditch effort. From the description of the Pit Fiend, if she's in a fight with PCs, It's either the end game for some diabolical plan, or she's in trouble; either way the sacrifice of a few subordinates should be worth the price.

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