Wrath of the Abyss

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In short time we'll be launching the first volume of the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path—Pathfinder Adventure Path #73 The Worldwound Incursion. Since the campaign deals with the denizens of the Abyss, we included stats for a demon lord in each volume. In the course of the Adventure Path you'll see stats and art for Xoveron, Shax, Sifkesh, Nocticula, Baphomet, and Deskari. Three other demon lords get stats in the fall when we release Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 4. In there you'll see Dagon, Kostchtchie, and Pazuzu. To give you a taste of a demon lord's power I've gleaned the following list of demon lord traits from a trusted demonologist.


Illustration by Helge C. Balzer

Demon Lord Traits

Demon Lord Traits (Ex, Sp, or Su): A demon lord is a powerful, unique demon that rules a layer of the Abyss. All demon lords are chaotic evil outsiders that are, at a minimum, CR 26. Demon lords have a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry) as summarized here.

  • A demon lord can grant spells to its worshipers as if it were a deity. A demon lord's domains are Chaos, Evil, and two other domains relevant to its theme and interests. Like a deity, a demon lord has a favored weapon.
  • A demon lord's natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as chaotic, epic, and evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • Abyssal Resurrection (Ex) A demon lord rules an Abyssal realm, a vast world that not only serves as its home but provides it with power. If a demon lord is slain, its body rapidly melts into corruption (leaving behind any gear it held or carried), its soul returns to a hidden location within its realm, and it is immediately restored to life (as true resurrection) at that location. Once this occurs, a demon lord can't use this ability again until a full year has passed. A demon lord realizes it is vulnerable during this time and usually doesn't risk further battles for the remainder of that year, relying on the defenses of its realm and its legions of minions to protect it. A demon lord that is slain again during this year or is killed by unusual methods (such as by a true deity or an artifact created for this purpose) is slain forever—its remains appearing somewhere deep in the Abyss among other dead demon lords from the ages. A demon lord who does not control a domain does not gain this ability.
  • Frightful Presence (Su) A demon lord can activate its frightful presence as a free action as part of any attack, spell-like ability, special attack, or by speaking aloud.
  • Immunity to ability damage, ability drain, charm effects, compulsion effects, death effects, energy drain, and petrification.
  • Regeneration (Ex) Only epic and good damage, or damage from a creature of equal or greater power (such as an archdevil, deity, demon lord, or protean lord) interrupts a demon lord's regeneration.
  • Resistance to acid 30, cold 30, and fire 30.
  • Summon Demons (Sp) Three times per day as a swift action, a demon lord can summon any demon or combination of demons whose total combined CR is 20 or lower. This otherwise works like the summon universal monster rule with a 100% chance of success, and counts as a 9th-level spell effect.
  • Telepathy 300 feet.

Abyssal Realms

Demon lords' realms range in size, but even the smallest are as large as a continent, and the greatest are larger than some planets. The realms' environments, themes, and traits are as unique as the demon lords themselves, presenting unusual challenges and dangers to creatures trying to explore them. Yet despite the close connection a demon lord has to its realm, it does not exert total control over the realm, and powerful adventurers can infiltrate such realms and accomplish goals without arousing the lord's anger—if they're careful.

A demon lord gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities):

  • Mythic: A demon lord functions as a 10th mythic rank creature, including the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It may expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with an asterisk (*) just as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will—demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to the realm, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day—binding, miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the demon lord's areas of concern)
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): A demon lord gains a +10 insight bonus on Perception checks and Initiative checks.

Adam Daigle
Developer

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Tags: Helge C. Balzer Open Game License Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Oh I'm looking forward to seeing Kostchtchie in print :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Wait. Wait... TRUSTED demonologist? There's no such thing! ^^;;


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Holy....well...Unholy terrors Batman!

Dark Archive

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oh hell yea... or rather oh abyss yea!


Oh. I know somebody that will be very keen on the Nocticula details. Very keen indeed.


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Wow, that's awesome!
Is it August yet?


Sweet! I've been contemplating just what abilities demon lords would have over regular nascent demon lords for quite awhile now. Now that this has been answered, I'm ready for the next thought exercise.


Sounds good.

Query: Epic? Hasn't Pathfinder moved away from 'epic' as an official part of Pathfinder RPG (as opposed to a mostly backwards-compatible system from D&D 3x Edition era)? Wouldn't it perhaps make a little more sense to include 'mythic' as a descriptor, too?

Just wondering...


YEEEESSSS!!!!!

Oh, that is indeed wonderful. Man, I can't wait to see these guys fleshed out. The Demon Lord traits are very promising.


I've seen several references to epic, but only in contexts like DR. Mythic and epic aren't really the same thing when you can have mythic levels as a CR 3 (for example), after all.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Seventh Seal wrote:

Sounds good.

Query: Epic? Hasn't Pathfinder moved away from 'epic' as an official part of Pathfinder RPG (as opposed to a mostly backwards-compatible system from D&D 3x Edition era)? Wouldn't it perhaps make a little more sense to include 'mythic' as a descriptor, too?

Just wondering...

I believe the problem is that Epic damage reduction/regeneration had already snuck into the game with the likes of the Tarrasque and they didn't want to go back and erratta the present references, so they kept the name in


Awesome!!

Man I can't wait for Mythic Adventures and Bestiary 4.

Liberty's Edge

Sweet, in 1e I usually doubled a lord's hit points on their home plane. I like the idea that they gain mythic tiers instead.


Who's the picture of?


Xoveron

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Oooh this is good!

Grand Lodge

Could you imagine GM'ing a battle with these types of creatures..or heroes that can take them on? Man...if you handle all those powers, variables, etc smoothly, you are, indeed, a mythical GM! :)


GM-JCServant - I'm kind of seeing that as a possibility at the conclusion of the Reign of Winter AP.

Party frees Baba Yaga, stages epic team-up with Kostchtchie to get revenge. Throwdown ensues between the ice witches and the party backed by Frost Giants and a demon lord...

Shadow Lodge

Mark Sweetman wrote:
Party frees Baba Yaga, stages epic team-up with Kostchtchie to get revenge. Throwdown ensues between the ice witches and the party backed by Frost Giants and a demon lord...

Bah, that AP's steeped in the theme of working with the lesser evil to combat the greater. Let the party that plays through RoW have a real triumph, I say.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So excited! Totally down for some Dagon, Kostchtchie, Pazuzu, and Baphomet. Little sad though that we aren't getting Nurgal and Socenbenoth.

Dark Archive

Ooh, I'm a huge fan of demon lords who have their own races of followers, so Xoveron and Baphomet are at the top of my list!

That both lend themselves particularly well to dungeon-y adventures (being devotees of ruins and labyrinths) is also a factor!


Pazuzu was written up the the recent Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes. I wonder which Pazuzu will be nastier...


Are the six demon lords listed above all of the demon lords given stats in WotR or are there some left unnamed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doc the grey wrote:
So excited! Totally down for some Dagon, Kostchtchie, Pazuzu, and Baphomet. Little sad though that we aren't getting Nurgal and Socenbenoth.

Since the company's Creative Director is a big fan of demon lords, chances are pretty good that there'll be more of them statted up as time goes on. Just sayin.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Blackfingers wrote:
Are the six demon lords listed above all of the demon lords given stats in WotR or are there some left unnamed?

Those six are indeed the ones we're statting up in WotR.

We'll be statting up at least one nascent demon lord as well, although that one's not yet been announced.


James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
So excited! Totally down for some Dagon, Kostchtchie, Pazuzu, and Baphomet. Little sad though that we aren't getting Nurgal and Socenbenoth.
Since the company's Creative Director is a big fan of demon lords, chances are pretty good that there'll be more of them statted up as time goes on. Just sayin.

Orcus? :D


Enlight_Bystand wrote:
I believe the problem is that Epic damage reduction/regeneration had already snuck into the game with the likes of the Tarrasque and they didn't want to go back and erratta the present references, so they kept the name in

Thank you for your reply.

Kind of what I thought.

At AinvarG (& any others who may have been wondering): I am aware of the difference between 'epic' and 'mythic' as it is used in the game. You do bring up a valid point. It is just that... Is it not odd that a potentially mythic foe cannot be harmed by anything mythic?

Surely it should not be beyond the realm of logic for a character (either mythic or wielding a mythic implement) dealing mythic damage (Does that actually exist in the game?) to harm a demigod-level foe (whether mythic or not, although, by definition, they should be mythic...) regardless of the actual level of the character? That is why they are mythic!
As to whether or not the damage dealt (that passes DR) is significant, well, that would be a different thing entirely...
EDIT: Not to mention that if mythic foes can be harmed by mythic characters (i.e. mythic bypasses DR), then the corollary is true, too. Mythic foes would most certainly be able to harm mythic characters, and considering the level differences there may be (and, hence, the amount of damage delivered), a low level character with mythic levels is not going to last long in a fight with a demigod-level foe, regardless of any damage getting through DR...

Just wondering.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

We chose to keep the phrase "epic" for damage reduction since it was already established with the Tarrasque and the solar and a few others, but also because it helps to keep the word "mythic" from being TOO overused.

In any event, Mythic Adventures will be along soon and it'll make more sense then.


Pazuzuzuzu! zuzuzu! Pazuzu! zuzuzu!

One of the more gracefull and beautiful demon lords, I really love Pazuzu, one of the few demon lords a Gancanagh would fight for.


James Jacobs wrote:

We chose to keep the phrase "epic" for damage reduction since it was already established with the Tarrasque and the solar and a few others, but also because it helps to keep the word "mythic" from being TOO overused.

In any event, Mythic Adventures will be along soon and it'll make more sense then.

Thank you for your reply.

I suppose I shall just have to wait for Mythic Adventures then. I see no problem with that. :)


Cool, first the pictures in the catalog, then the Al-mi'raj on facebook, now the 3 demon lords coming in Bestiary 4 here in the blog.

I can't wait for moar spoilers!!! (but please leave some spoilers untouched for if I buy the book) ;-)


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Did anyone else first-react to that preview-picture by wishing they were driving Gipsy Danger or Striker Eureka? Cause that sucker looks like he went to school with Scunner, Leatherback and Otachi. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Abyssal Resurrection makes me wonder...

spoiler:
Will the PCs need to kill Deskari twice in the final Wrath of the Righteous adventure? That would be almost anticlimactic.

Shadow Lodge

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It's the grey-and-blue color scheme.


Looks phenomenal!

Glad I'm going to be able to pick up Mythic Adventures and Bestiary 4 at GenCon.

Cheers!
Landon


Generic Villain wrote:

Abyssal Resurrection makes me wonder...

** spoiler omitted **

My guess would be. . .

Wrath of the Righteous:
Since it also says Abyssal Resurrection can be negated by an Artifact built for this purpose, I figure the party gets its hands on such an artifact (or has one built by an NPC ally) before confronting Deskari on his home plane. Or it could be a trait gained by one of the "Legacy"-style weapons acquired earlier in the AP (if there are any).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about this Artifact:
I think Aroden's Sword might do the job...


"Immunity to ability damage, ability drain, charm effects, compulsion effects, death effects, energy drain, and petrification."

What happened to electricity?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My air elementalist went up to them with some treasure she'd acquired and bribed them to leave it out of the rules. ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:

"Immunity to ability damage, ability drain, charm effects, compulsion effects, death effects, energy drain, and petrification."

What happened to electricity?

Demon lords still have the standard demon traits; immunity to electricity is covered by that, not by the "upgrades" the demon lord traits grant.


Blanket immunity to the key effects and conditions associated with necromancy and enchantment. Because we learned nothing in ten years of game design.

Surge apparently still increasing die size - because nothing says mythic like adding 1 to a roll.

Come on guys, I really expect more from you.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Peter Stewart wrote:

Blanket immunity to the key effects and conditions associated with necromancy and enchantment. Because we learned nothing in ten years of game design.

Surge apparently still increasing die size - because nothing says mythic like adding 1 to a roll.

Come on guys, I really expect more from you.

Demon lords are intended to be tough. Things that a max level, max tier party will probably TPK against unless they've spent several adventures preparing specifically for the final fight against the demon lord, which in theory includes learning about its defenses and generating skills, recovering treasures/artifacts, and learning sneaky tricks to be able to hurt them. But the point of a demon lord is that they're the top of what a mythic party can hope to face, and if a mythic party tries to challenge one without preparing WELL... they will get crushed.

And there's more uses for mythic power than rolling an extra die to add a variable number to a roll—that's kinda the baseline thing you'd use it for. Demon lords have other things they can use their mythic power for as well.


James Jacobs wrote:
Demon lords are intended to be tough. Things that a max level, max tier party will probably TPK against unless they've spent several adventures preparing specifically for the final fight against the demon lord, which in theory includes learning about its defenses and generating skills, recovering treasures/artifacts, and learning sneaky tricks to be able to hurt them. But the point of a demon lord is that they're the top of what a mythic party can hope to face, and if a mythic party tries to challenge one without preparing WELL... they will get crushed.

I'm from Dicefreaks. I don't mind tough demon lords. In fact, I encourage them.

The thing is, my complaint has nothing to do with toughness Jacob. It has to do with why habitually designers decide to close the doors on various means of attack that are basically the only effective attacks from certain schools of magic.

Why is the blanket decision made to make high end monsters immune to the key features of two entire schools of magic? Are players who know their campaigns will likely face these foes just supposed to avoid specializing in those schools of magic? And toward what good end? What about -5 hp, -1 on checks is so devastating to a monster of this caliber that they need a specific immunity?

What about charm and compulsion? I understand these are powerful effects, but wouldn't a mechanic that say, gave them a new save each round be more effective than a blanket immunity that completely shuts down the guy who has played an enchanter since level 1?

James Jacobs wrote:
And there's more uses for mythic power than rolling an extra die to add a variable number to a roll—that's kinda the baseline thing you'd use it for. Demon lords have other things they can use their mythic power for as well.

I understand that, but I take issue with the fact that the surge mechanic (which admittedly saw no playtesting since no one wants to spend their swift action on a small bonus given the other options) wasn't broken into multiple smaller dice, so as to give a more average result, rather than tremendous swings.

Hopefully it's at least become a non-action?


Will the powers of Hell get the same treatment?


I like this. I think these abilities make Demon Lords suitably powerful and flavorful. I especially like the special powers while in their own realm part. Thats pretty classic when it come to Demon Lords and I'm glad to see it being embraced.

As I've said before I really wish the Mythic stuff was limited to adversaries of the PCs only since I think PC's are already Mythic (thats what makes them adventurers not farmers) and they already have too many options.

Since these are "Demon Lord Traits" will we also be seeing something like "Demi-god traits". Something that might apply to Ydersius for example?


cibet44 wrote:
As I've said before I really wish the Mythic stuff was limited to adversaries of the PCs only since I think PC's are already Mythic (thats what makes them adventurers not farmers) and they already have too many options.

From what we saw of the playtest rules, it should be easy to do that for your campaign, unless you're running Wrath of the Righteous.

I guess it could be a problem if your players don't want to run under different rules from the enemies, but that would come up regardless (and, frankly, monsters always kind of work by fiat anyway).

Cheers!
Landon


"Regeneration (Ex) Only epic and good damage, or damage from a creature of equal or greater power (such as an archdevil, deity, demon lord, or protean lord) interrupts a demon lord's regeneration."

I assume that "deity" there includes demigods? Given that full gods don't get statblocks, it would seem a bit odd for them to be counted.

Shadow Lodge

Alleran wrote:
I assume that "deity" there includes demigods? Given that full gods don't get statblocks, it would seem a bit odd for them to be counted.

Archdevils, demon lords, protean lords, and empyreal lords (who for some reason are left out of the list) are demigods.


I'm actually glad that Mythic Surge goes up in dice steps and not just adding more dice. Sure, 2d4 is more reliable for average throws than 1d8 (using these as an example), but I prefer the higher percentage of rolling above average on a d12 than on 2d6. Also, I'm always a fan of rolling less dice.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think Mythic Surge should of just added a flat number going from +2 to +8 as the character gained tiers. It'd be like Mythic characters having Hero Points that recharged on a daily basis rather then a level basis.

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