Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

DMDM's Guide to the Diabolist -- Revised, version 2.0


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The revised and improved version, incorporating lots of comments from readers, can be found right here. This thing is now quite astonishingly long, so there probably won't be any further revisions any time soon.

Comments are still welcome, though, and if you do play a Diabolist, please post here -- I'd be very interested to hear how it works out.

cheers,

Doug M.

Dark Archive

Correct link

No mention of Samsarans to abuse the summoner spell list? Greater Planar Ally as a 6th level spell is pretty useful for a Diabolist.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, the absence of the Samsaran is entirely an oversight on my part.

I'd color them green -- a fine choice, but not actually as strong as elf, human or a couple of the aasimars. Yes, you get +2 Int and Cha and Mystic Past Life is very abusable. But giving up the feat stings, nothing else about the Samsaran helps a Diabolist, and you're going to miss having a Cha boost. That said, GPA at 11th level is indeed pretty nice. A Samsaran also moves some of the red-colored classes (the ones without access to Planar Binding) to orange or green; a Samsaran Oracle or Inquisitor with Planar Bindings and utility spells could be pretty amazing.

Doug M.

Dark Archive

Is there a divine list with Planar Binding?

Dark Archive

Jadeite wrote:
Is there a divine list with Planar Binding?

An oracle with the Outer Rifts mystery (Inner Sea Magic) gets the Planar Binding spells, but other than that I can't think of any at the moment...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Devil subdomain gets Planar Binding (though not the lesser or greater versions).

Doug M.


I'm sure diabolists too have access to the True Name Caller trait, but does anyone know if Paizo has discarded the infernal sigils from page 42 of Princes of Darkness (Ultimate Magic gives rules for true names only)?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OneTrueBaldo wrote:
I'm sure diabolists too have access to the True Name Caller trait,

[Groan] I can't believe I missed that one! Argh. Well, if anyone checks this thread, they'll find it. Definitely a potentially useful trait for a Diabolist.

Quote:
but does anyone know if Paizo has discarded the infernal sigils from page 42 of Princes of Darkness (Ultimate Magic gives rules for true names only)?

That was a deliberate exclusion -- I don't mention the sigils because they're not all that useful. All they do is make it harder for the devil to escape if you fail that initial check. (It gets one check per day, and possessing the sigil raises the DC.)

Doug M.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
My DM warned me about people like YOU...

...But a diabolist is already damned, and sometimes all you need is a little power boost to get you through those Greater Planar Bindings, right?

I can totally envision a diabolist addicted to AEther, Bloodbrush Extract, Elven Absinthe, Harlot Sweets, Honeydust, Mumia and/or Silvertongue, and bargaining with devils for more...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OneTrueBaldo wrote:

[

...But a diabolist is already damned, and sometimes all you need is a little power boost to get you through those Greater Planar Bindings, right?
I can totally envision a diabolist addicted to AEther, Bloodbrush Extract, Elven Absinthe, Harlot Sweets, Honeydust, Mumia and/or Silvertongue, and bargaining with devils for more...

Wow, some great stuff there. Let's see...

AEther, +1 caster level is great, but a caster level check to cast is pretty brutal -- I wouldn't touch the stuff, myself.

Bloodbrush Extract, +2 on Knowledge [arcana, planes, or religion] and Spellcraft for two hours for 25 gp seems like a great deal. Alas, this doesn't last long enough to give you a boost on searching for True Names. It does help on drawing your circle, but there will only be a couple of levels where that's an issue -- once you can consistently hit +19 on Spellcraft, you won't care any more. (Unless you want to just take it every time; you may risk getting addicted to it, but you could save yourself two skill points going forward.)

Elven Absinthe, you're paying 500 gp to trade an hour of +1d4 Cha for 1d4 of Con damage. That's super situational, but at high levels when you're dealing with super nasty creatures with crazy high Cha -- and when you're rich enough that 500 gp is chump change -- it could be worth it.

But you're probably better off chewing some Harlot Sweets. Honestly, these things are superior in every way: much cheaper (60 gp), less addictive, and they give you +1d4 Cha and +1 Dex for a mere d2 of Int damage. If you're a sorceror this is literally a no-brainer, and even if you're a wizard you can eat a day or two of slightly diminished function in return for better Cha and Dex when you really need it.

Honeydust, it's cheap and barely addictive at all, and you get +d2 to Charisma. (You may get sickened an hour later, but so what?)

Mumia, +1 caster level Effect, +1d8 temporary hit points, and a +2 alchemical bonus on saving throws made against spells and effects with the curse or disease descriptor. On the minus side, d2 Wis damage, fatigue, it's 500 gp a shot, and it's very addictive. Oh, and "if the user is addicted for more than a week straight, there is a cumulative +5% chance of transforming into a ghoul every week of addiction." Yeah, maybe not. (Unless you're in the sort of campaign where being a ghoul isn't going to harm your career prospects -- Way of the Wicked, say. In which case, bottoms up.)

Silvertongue, d2 alchemical bonus to Cha, +2 alchemical bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects -- but you pay for it with d4 Con damage. Might be worth it if you're dealing with things that have a lot of mind-affecting attacks.

In general, you don't want to be addicted, so if you're going to take drugs you want to take reasonable precautions -- get and cast Bear's Endurance, invest in things that boost your Con or your Fort save, etc. (Or just potions of Cure Disease? I can't remember whether that's allowed under RAW or not.)

An unanswered question in the Paizo rules (AFAIK) is how easily addiction can be detected. It becomes potentially relevant if you're calling up high-Int devils and other manipulative outsiders; if the creature spots your weakness, it would most assuredly use it against you. I'd say a creature could use either Heal or Sense Motive to try to spot it, while you could use either Bluff or Disguise to try covering it up.

TLDR: most of these are kinda marginal, but Honeydust and Harlot Sweets look worth the trouble, the latter especially if you're not an Int-based caster.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

The revised and improved version, incorporating lots of comments from readers, can be found right here. This thing is now quite astonishingly long, so there probably won't be any further revisions any time soon.

To say the truth, I loved your guide and I'm hoping to see a Version 3.0 adding the stuff from this thread AND a Version 4.0+ when Hell's Rebels, Devil Hunter's Handbook, Devils Unleashed and Devils Amongst Us - A Guide to Cheliax will be published (my wild guessing here, heh... ).

Just remember: an infernal contract MUST BE "quite astonishingly long" to be effective!

Therefore...

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
In general, you don't want to be addicted, so if you're going to take drugs you want to take reasonable precautions...

Oops, forgot Angel's Trumpet and (most importantly) Amp from the Alchemy Manual.

Addicted, now?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OneTrueBaldo wrote:

To say the truth, I loved your guide and I'm hoping to see a Version 3.0 adding the stuff from this thread AND a Version 4.0+ when Hell's Rebels, Devil Hunter's Handbook, Devils Unleashed and Devils Amongst Us - A Guide to Cheliax will be published (

Thanks for the kind words! I'd really love to hear from someone who has actually used the Guide to build and play a Diabolist...

Definitely looking forward to the Cheliax AP. The first one was *such* a mixed bag -- it included some really weaksauce stuff, but on the other hand it has a couple of the best set-pieces of any AP yet. The murder play? Hard to beat. -- Anyway, I'd like to think that this one will be stronger. That's a setting with tremendous potential... and it should be fertile ground for a would-be Diabolist.

Doug M.


@Douglas Muir 406

I LOVE your work, just adding two "cheesy tricks" here:

The Stars are Right, the Heavens amulet would be useful to many (most?) diabolists, I suppose.

The Wages of Sin, this book is quite appropriate to a diabolist with the Object of Legend feat! The "you must have some highly personal stake in attaining the object of your quest" prerequisite is easy to justify (you need the perfect bargaining chip for the services of a pit fiend or the perfect gift to your favorite archdevil for some unholy secret, for example), and the completion benefit is ironic and useful at the same time, hehe...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OneTrueBaldo wrote:

@Douglas Muir 406

I LOVE your work,

Thanks! Looking forward to any comments you might have on that one.

Quote:
The Stars are Right, the Heavens amulet would be useful to many (most?) diabolists, I suppose.

Nice one! Anyone with a decent Wis modifier would find it worthwhile to install a skylight. For a diabolist cleric, this would be a must-have.

Quote:

The Wages of Sin, this book is quite appropriate to a diabolist with the Object of Legend feat!

? That first link goes to the entry for the Chronicle of the Righteous? Useful in its way, but the whole "move your alignment one step towards Good" thing might not work out so well...

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
OneTrueBaldo wrote:

@Douglas Muir 406

I LOVE your work,

Thanks! Looking forward to any comments you might have on that one.

Hmmh the Master Conjurer class attribute of the diabolist says "At 10th level, when a diabolist calls a devil whose name she knows, she may cast the calling spell as a standard action and bargain with it as a move action. She adds half her Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate modifier on the bargaining Charisma check (if any)", I like your "binding happens immediately" interpretation, but maybe it's NOT universal.

I think it would be more appropriate if a summoner does NOT know in advance if a particular outsider needs the 'brute force' approach (your "you’re instantly locked in a struggle for dominance"), or if the called outsider is amenable to "discussion, negotiation, and threats" (immediately devolving to "struggle for dominance" if the summoner starts casting buffing/debuffing spells during the negotiation, I'm sure).
You know, even your "immediate binding" interpretation can be affected by player abuse. In my opinion, anything permitting double-roll of the Cha checks -the Prescience power of the Foresight subschool, for example- REMOVES any danger inherent in the casting of the Planar Bindings spells. Therefore, the DM must improvise every time the player casts these spells, and maybe needs to forbid re-rolls of the binding CHA checks too.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
the whole "move your alignment one step towards Good" thing might not work out so well...

Do you remember? "One oddity of the Diabolist is that there’s nothing in the class text that specifically says you lose your powers if you change your alignment away from the permitted one".

Protection from evil as a constant spell-like ability and a +2 bonus on caster level checks against evil aligned outsiders are worth the risk of a (temporary for sure!) alignment change, in my opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OneTrueBaldo wrote:


Hmmh the Master Conjurer class attribute of the diabolist says "At 10th level, when a diabolist calls a devil whose name she knows, she may cast the calling spell as a standard action and bargain with it as a move action. She adds half her Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate modifier on the bargaining Charisma check (if any)", I like your "binding happens immediately" interpretation, but maybe it's NOT universal.

I think that actually supports my approach; the Master Conjuror thing is unique and special, after all. Also, it has to be written in such a way that it covers Planar Ally and Planar Binding both.

Quote:

You know, even your "immediate binding" interpretation can be affected by player abuse. In my opinion, anything permitting double-roll of the Cha checks -the Prescience power of the Foresight subschool, for example- REMOVES any danger inherent in the casting of the Planar Bindings spells. Therefore, the DM must improvise every time the player casts these spells, and maybe needs to forbid re-rolls of the binding CHA checks too.

You raise an interesting point. If you can double-roll, can you ignore the natural 1? I'd say no, myself -- that 5% failure chance should be hardwired in under all circumstances.

Doug M.


Veltharis wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
Is there a divine list with Planar Binding?
An oracle with the Outer Rifts mystery (Inner Sea Magic) gets the Planar Binding spells, but other than that I can't think of any at the moment...

Shaman with the Lore spirit Arcane Enlightenment hex gains spells from any arcane list. Taking this as a 'wandering hex' is probably best, since you can then have a different set of arcane spells each day.

It's very MAD. You get Cha bonus +1 spells, but you need an Int score of 10 + the spell level, and then you need Wis as the actual casting stat.

Another (arcane) class that can get these spells is the Witch - I'm not sure if it has already been mentioned. The Dimensions patron gets them, with or without the Dimensional Occultist archetype.


another plug for the Outer Rifts mystery Oracle...
it can be combined with the Seeker oracle archetype for another +4 to pierce SR...so +8 total


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sandbox wrote:

another plug for the Outer Rifts mystery Oracle...

it can be combined with the Seeker oracle archetype for another +4 to pierce SR...so +8 total

Wow, I was unaware of the Seeker archetype. That's a pretty strong archetype -- in fact, I'd say that 15th level power verges on overpowered. Combine that sucker with Magical Knack or Spell Perfection and you can get some pretty cheesetastic results. That said, it'll probably never be an issue for a Diabolist Oracle (you won't hit 15th level as oracle until quite late in the game, if ever).

Meanwhile, yes, the +4 to penetrate SR would be pretty sweet! And as you say, this would stack with the Rift Magic revelation to give you an eye-watering +8. Throw in a single Spell Penetration feat and you're pretty much done -- most outsiders have CR+10 SR. (There are a few annoying exceptions, like the rakshasa and the night hag, but you can avoid them.)

I think this version of the Oracle is still half a step behind the sorceror and wizard: slow spell progression and limited spells like the sorceror, but the cleric / oracle spell list is somewhat less good for a diabolist. However, it's definitely blue -- a strong choice, and playable.

Doug M.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mind, the SR penetration champion is a human cleric taking the special human / tiefling favored class bonus: an astonishing +1/level to overcome spell resistance! For a Diabolist (or any other character that expects to be doing anything with outsiders) this is a no-brainer; it's like a free feat every two levels.

The drawback of course is that clerics don't get Planar Binding, and must make do with the less-good Planar Ally spell instead. The workaround here is to take the Devil subdomain, which gives you access to Planar Binding (though not LPB or GPB). That'll keep you happy from 11th level to 15th, and after that Planar Ally starts becoming more cost-effective.


Yesterday, I noticed a simply brilliant way to make a diabolist: cleric, worshipping Maat (who is LN) and taking the Void domain. Resulting in having all 3 planar binding spells, Lesser at 4th level, and being able to use the favored class bonus to boost Penetration.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gilarius wrote:
Yesterday, I noticed a simply brilliant way to make a diabolist: cleric, worshipping Maat (who is LN) and taking the Void domain. Resulting in having all 3 planar binding spells, Lesser at 4th level, and being able to use the favored class bonus to boost Penetration.

Oh, nice. The 2nd and 8th level boons for that domain are also pretty sweet.

Thinking about it, this would be the only build where you could enter before 9th level without using a scroll. On the other hand, that 8th level power is so good -- especially if you build towards it, taking a lot of save-or-suck Will spells and investing in feats and items to crank your spell DCs -- that I could see going one more level of cleric just to grab it.

On the minus side, while you get LPB as a fourth level spell, you get PB as sixth and GPB as 8th -- by which time you're 15th level and, meh, you're almost better off with Planar Ally.

Still, good catch! Will be added to the Guide.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


On the minus side, while you get LPB as a fourth level spell, you get PB as sixth and GPB as 8th -- by which time you're 15th level and, meh, you're almost better off with Planar Ally.

Still, good catch! Will be added to the Guide.

Doug M.

not sure what you mean Doug...PB/GPB are normally 6/8?

there really is no minus to it...besides worshiping a totally random deity(i hate that)
edit: just realized that i can be a seperatist cleric and just choose void as my secondary domain. that way i can serve mostly whomever


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Whoops, my bad -- you're right. Don't know what I was thinking. There is no downside, indeed!

Doug M.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

BTW, I am very much still interested in comments and other input, because I want to post a version 3.0 of the Guide later this year. Basically I'm waiting for the Cheliax AP and its associated stuff to come out, because I expect it will include all sorts of interesting and useful Hell-themed goodness.

Doug M.


what source book is void domain in?


Sorry for horrible necromancy, but this guide mentions a spellbook called the Inward Facing Circle. I can't find it on the archives or the SRD, where is this item located?


Circle of protection spells (any of the four flavors: vs good, evil, law or chaos) has text for drawing the circle as inwardly facing. This is so you can cast the circle, then summon something within the circle, and the summoned creature will be trapped/constrained to the circle while your bargain or intimidate it into doing your will.

Sovereign Court

Its likely the guide is referring to "The Inward-Facing Circle" from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Mysteries (PFRPG), 2014.
Link
If you go to the store page and search for "Inward" it pulls up a comment by Jim Groves talking about the what he contributed to the book.

I don't own Occult Mysteries, but being a soft-cover book its unlikely that it is on any of the major websites used to search for PF material.


Thanks a ton, Firebug!

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / DMDM's Guide to the Diabolist -- Revised, version 2.0 All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.