Thursday, February 25, 2016

Top 6: Enabler Devil by Eric Hindley

This slim-hipped, broad-shouldered man has flawless skin and shoulder-length, dark hair. A pair of white-feathered wings sprout from his back.

Enabler Devil CR 9
XP 6,400
LE Medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19
Aura twisted intentions (30 ft., DC 21)

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural)
hp 114 (12d10+48)
Fort +9, Ref +12, Will +12
DR 10/good or silver; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 20

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee +1 glaive +15/+10/+5 (1d10+4/×3) or
2 claws +14 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks encourage sin
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +17)
Constant—tongues
At will—bear’s endurance, bull’s strengthcat’s graceeagle’s splendorfox’s cunning, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of gear only), heroismowl’s wisdom
1/day—summon (level 3, 1d3 bearded devils, 75% chance)

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 19, Cha 20
Base Atk +12; CMB +14; CMD 29
Feats Deceitful, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +4 (+8 to jump), Bluff +24, Diplomacy +20, Disguise +24, Fly +23, Knowledge (local) +17, Linguistics +17, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19
Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft., tongues
SQ embrace your sin

ECOLOGY
Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary or troop (1 enabler devil plus 2-8 bearded devils)
Treasure standard (+1 glaive, other gear)

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Aura of Twisted Intentions (Su) The enabler devil permeates the area around it with an aura of ill-will, turning the good intentions of their opponents into misfortunes. Any foe within 30 feet must succeed at a DC 21 Will save or have any morale bonuses they are benefiting from transformed into penalties. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Embrace Your Sin (Su) An enabler devil is capable of granting another creature an inherent +1 bonus to an ability score based on their most appropriate sin. This generally breaks down as follows—lust grants a Charisma bonus, wrath grants Strength, gluttony grants Constitution, sloth grants Dexterity, greed grants Wisdom, envy grants Intelligence, and pride grants the recipient the choice of one ability score. After one week, the enabler devil can increase this bonus by +1, if he deems the recipient worthy. Each week after that, the enabler devil can increase this bonus by +1, to a maximum of +5. This bonus lasts as long as the enabler devil chooses and can be ended at any time. If the creature commits a particularly virtuous act directly against the sin that granted the benefit, the bonus ends immediately.
Encourage Sin (Sp) An enabler devil can entice a victim to do what it wants with a subtle word or a knowing glance. Treat this as the suggestion spell with the following exceptions: it is not language-dependent and the target can be given harmful suggestions (albeit with a –4 penalty to the save DC).

Unbearably handsome and often mistaken for angels, enabler devils seek to spread the glory of sin and corrupt souls. An enabler devil works patiently once they have found a suitably sinful subject, slowly rewarding them for their vices while simultaneously leading them away from more virtuous pursuits. They use their ability to grant boons to lure mortals into more sinful activities.

In battle, enabler devils often work with lesser devils, using their spell-like abilities to enhance the abilities of other warriors. If pressed into melee, enabler devils prefer polearms and other weapons that allow them to stay out of reach.

An enabler devil stands about 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds, with a nearly 12-foot wingspan.



Jacob W. Michaels

Congratulations to the Top 6 monster designers; we had a lot of great entries, but these rose to the top. For my comments, I'm including what were, for the most part, my stream of conscious thoughts as I read each monster (edited slightly for public consumption).

The description's written well, but it's not a particularly visually exciting monster. Similarly, the write-up does everything it needs to do — I absolutely know how to use these creatures, both in and out of combat — but doesn't particularly excite me. It's like a slightly duller succubus in angel's clothing (except it's a devil).

Stat block looks good. Do all those buff spells throw off its CR, though? If it's going to go into combat, won't it have every one of its stats boosted? They should probably be restricted to not be used on itself.

On to the special abilities and we're starting to look a little better, I think.

The aura's great to mess with players; I've seen its like before, but it fits nicely and I like the name. Really works for the devil's inevitable betrayal too after someone's benefited from its SLAs.

Embrace your sin seems like a great story-telling power, but I wonder how often it would come into play in most games. I suppose if I'm playing in a campaign like Hell's Vengeance, I could see someone trying to make a deal with one of these.

Encourage sin is nice as well.

All and all, this is a solid monster. I wish there was something there to get me a little more excited about it but I could definitely see using them to motivate an NPC/drive an adventure.

Mike Welham

Congratulations on making the Top 6! I'm just going to jump into the monster and give my feedback.

The description for the enabler devil uses only one sense, but it does so very evocatively. I get the sense of a classic persuasive devil from the description.

The stat block looks clean. It's a devil, so it has the expected immunities and resistances. It speaks languages other than the typical devil languages, but the chosen languages fit the concept of it tempting mortals (and Linguistics allow it speak many additional languages). As a creature that is not combat-oriented, I like that its attacks and damage skew toward the low end for CR 9.

As I would have hoped, Bluff and Disguise top its skill bonuses.

My preference would be for the enhancer spells to affect other creatures only, since it would otherwise use all of them to make itself tougher than its CR would indicate, and it would fit the temptation offered by embrace your sin.

Aura of twisted intentions is great at turning an ally's bonuses into penalties, providing a reason to accept the enabler devil's gift. Embrace your sin is a nifty ability, but I think it should cap the number of recipients (as written, the devil ability to grant bonuses is unlimited). Finally, I like that the suggestion can provoke a harmful action and is purely innuendo-based.

The write up tells me how enabler devils operate and gives me a good idea how to insert them into an adventure/campaign. Their combat tactics fit my expectations.

In summary, this is a great implementation of the traditional tempter devil.

Mikko Kallio

Thanks for submitting a monster, and congratulations on making the Top 6! Below are some comments on your entry.

The description gives me a pretty good idea of what the creature looks like. I think the description is too generic, however; the creature looks pretty much the same as any other generic looking angel-like being.

I didn't notice any formatting mistakes in the stat block. You've even used the multiplication symbol ×, well done! The SLAs make sense as do the skills. "50 pounds of gear" should be "50 pounds of objects", though. Its feats are perhaps a bit boring. Flyby Attack is the only feat that enables the enabler devil (heh) to do something it wouldn't otherwise be able to do. The rest of the feats are just +x on various stats, and when you design monsters, you can usually just give them racial bonuses or increase an ability score.

It has a number or ranks in Linguistics but it only knows two languages? Of course, since it is constantly affected by tongues, it doesn't really need any additional languages or the skill ranks for that matter, but I think the languages should be listed regardless.

The special abilities are consistent with the creature's concept. I really like the aura, it's such a cruel way to turn the PCs' buffs against them. Barbarians in particular are in for a nasty surprise. It also affects any foes the devil has previously cast heroism on. Heh heh, I like that. What's the duration, though? Does it end when you leave the aura? Do you attempt a saving throw each time you enter the aura?

Embrace your sin is a flavorful ability, but it has two major problems. Firstly, it requires a lot of GM fiat. Which sin is the most appropriate? Generally speaking, I don't recommend abilities that interact with things you don't normally have on your character sheet or stat block. Secondly, I think the PCs will find ways to abuse the ability. A +1 inherent bonus is worth 27,500 gp, so the incentive is quite big.

The creature's concept is very appropriate for the contest. A devil tempting mortals with physical and mental greatness reminds me of Faust, and I'm sure there are lots of other stories that have explored that trope. Enabler devil as a name is ok if not terribly exciting. Most devils have a second name, and I think the enabler devil also needs one.

The enabler devil can be used both in social encounters and combat encounters, which is great for GMs. They can easily be used as a plot element that drives the story forward. I would like to know more about their motivations, however. For creatures with such great potential, they seem a bit single-minded. Do they tempt mortals just for the evulz, or is there a greater purpose? I guess they just want the mortals' souls to end up in Hell when they die.

Overall, great concept and very nice and polished monster!

Adam Daigle

Congratulations on being selected for the top six monsters! Monster contests are a blast, so I hope you had fun coming up with this cool critter. When judging, I’m not going to focus too much on the mechanics and making sure it hits all the numbers on Table 1–1 in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary (because I’m sure one of the other judges will cover that). Instead, I’m just giving my gut opinions on the monster and focusing on the style and formatting. With that said, on to the comments!

The name is intriguing and I know what to expect with this one. I only wish you would have kept with the common naming scheme with devils and given a parenthetical with an alternate, Latinesque name.

Your statblock is clean and well-formatted. I would have changed out Toughness for another feat, since in monster design you can just tweak ability scores or Hit Dice to get more hit points. Also, I feel like the intention of it having all of the stat-boosting spells as at-will spell-like abilities is so that it can help tempt people to do things by making them better, but that kind of runs into the same ground as the embrace your sin special ability. I know that the descriptive text says that it uses these spell-like abilities to boost its companion devils that it works with, but this also means that this devil can essentially have a +4 bonus to all of its ability scores if it has 6 rounds to prepare for a fight. This seems a bit much. I think it would have been solid if you mentioned that these spell-like abilities couldn’t be used on itself.

I like the special abilities that this devil has. The aura of twisted intentions has a cool name and the ability to switch morale bonuses into penalties is pretty unique. Embrace your sin is a nice and certainly works with the themes of this devil. Who doesn’t like better ability scores? And encourage sin is a nice twist to suggestion.

I wish that you had more space for descriptive text, but you did a good job with what you had.

Overall, this entry is very clean and tightly focused. You’ve certainly paid attention to how Pathfinder monster statblocks are created, and it appears that you paid a lot of attention to formatting, styles, and grammar.

2 comments :

  1. Eric! Good job, I like types of creatures that serve as great story elements!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Scott 'Curaigh' JankeFebruary 25, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Congratulations Eric!
    That aura alone will get this to my table. Nice work. :)

    ReplyDelete

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