Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder | Starfinder

All | Unique
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Families | Templates | Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules


Demon Lord

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 45
The mightiest of all demons are the demon lords of the Abyss, inf luential entities of chaos and evil and powerful demigods who each rule vast realms of horror and vice. Each demon lord is a unique creature, a paragon of sin that exists only to further its own desires. The genesis of demon lords varies. The majority of them rise from lesser demons who have transformed into powerful entities (this was how Pazuzu became a demon lord). In rare cases, a demon lord transitions directly from being a powerful, sinful mortal into the role of demon lord (as is the case with Kostchtchie), or from a qlippoth into a demon lord as a result of unknowable influences in the Abyss (as is the case with Dagon).

When a demon gathers enough power, whether by gaining class levels, advancing in Hit Dice, gaining many mythic tiers or ranks, undertaking a vile ritual, or simply amassing a sufficiently large and devoted following, it becomes what is known as a nascent demon lord. It may remain a nascent lord indefinitely, but usually seeks to complete its transformation into a full-f ledged demon lord. In order to do so, the nascent lord must build a cult among mortals, but more importantly it must claim and control a large enough Abyssal realm that the plane itself takes notice and elevates the nascent lord to the power level of a demon lord. In a few cases, demon lords have been known to ascend to the status of full deities. While there are likely thousands of nascent demon lords in existence at any one time in the Abyss, the number of fullf ledged demon lords is more limited—known examples of demon lords number in the dozens.

The phrase “demon lord” is gender neutral—there are male, female, and genderless demon lords, as well as demon lords with multiple genders.

A demon lord may be contacted via commune, and can be conjured via a gate spell, but when so called, a demon lord is under no compulsion to come through the gate. Typically, a demon lord requires an enormous and significant offering or sacrifice before it deigns to answer a gate spell.

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.

Demon Lords in a Campaign

Each demon lord is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Demon lords are generally beyond the reach of most mortal heroes, and should not be placed in an adventure without careful consideration. In most cases, they are best used as the final enemies of long campaigns—especially campaigns in which the PCs themselves are mythic characters—and even getting an audience with one should be a memorable event.

Yet even if demon lords are far outside the abilities of most heroes to combat directly, they can still be used as foes in campaigns of all levels, inspiring or directing monsters, mortals, and entire cults. Opposing and defeating a cult is a time-honored plotline for a campaign, and a climactic encounter where the PCs must close a portal before the cult’s demon lord manifests in the flesh can make an exciting capstone to a longrunning campaign, especially if the demon lord in question appears for a round or 2 to fight the PCs before the closing of the portal forces it back to the Abyss. Alternatively, rather than having the PCs face the demon lord at full power, you can build a campaign where the PCs systematically undermine and destroy a demon lord’s resources, imposing increasing penalties on it and gathering potent weapons so that when the time comes for the final confrontation, the PCs are powerful and the demon lord is weakened to a state below its normal CR. An easy way to model weakening a demon in this manner is to assign negative levels to the demon—normally, a demon lord is immune to level drain, but in this case, the reduction of its resources and sources of power can bypass that immunity for a time... at least, until the demon lord can rebuild and recover.

Creatures in "Demon Lord" Category

NameCR
Baphomet27
Dagon28
Deskari29
Kostchtchie26
Nocticula30
Pazuzu30
Shax28
Sifkesh28
Xoveron27

Demon Lord, Dagon

This demon’s body is a nightmare of writhing tentacles and slippery coils below the leering maw of a deep sea predator.

Dagon CR 28

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 46
XP 4,915,200
CE Huge outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar, water)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, detect law, true seeing; Perception +55
Aura frightful presence (120 ft., DC 36), unholy aura (DC 28)

Defense

AC 46, touch 31, flat-footed 39 (+4 deflection, +7 Dex, +15 natural, +12 profane, –2 size)
hp 676 (33d10+495); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +37, Ref +24, Will +33
Defensive Abilities Abyssal resurrection, freedom of movement; DR 20/cold iron, epic, and good; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm effects, compulsion effects, cold, death effects, electricity, energy drain, petrification, and poison; Resist acid 30, fire 30; SR 39

Offense

Speed 40 ft., swim 120 ft.
Melee bite +48 (6d6+17/19–20 plus grab), 4 tentacles +43 (2d6+8/19–20 plus grab)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft. (30 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks breath weapon, command aquatic creature, constrict (2d6+25), fast swallow, poison, swallow whole (transformation, AC 17, 67 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 28th; concentration +38)
Constant—detect good, detect law, freedom of movement, speak with animals (aquatic animals only), true seeing, unholy aura (DC 28)
At will—astral projection, blasphemy* (DC 27), control water, control weather*, desecrate*, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, shapechange, telekinesis* (DC 25), unhallow, unholy blight* (DC 24)
3/day—quickened greater dispel magic, insanity (DC 27), summon demons, symbol of insanity (DC 28), vortexAPG (DC 27)
1/day—storm of vengeance* (DC 29), time stop*, tsunami*, APG (DC 29)
* Dagon can use the mythic version of this ability in his realm.

Statistics

Str 44, Dex 25, Con 40, Int 29, Wis 32, Cha 31
Base Atk +33; CMB +52 (+56 bull rush, +54 disarm, +56 grapple, +54 trip); CMD 87 (89 vs. bull rush, 89 vs. disarm, can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Bleeding Critical, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Craft Wondrous Item, Critical Focus, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (greater dispel magic), Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +40 (+44 when jumping), Bluff +46, Intimidate +46, Knowledge (arcana) +45, Knowledge (geography) +42, Knowledge (history) +42, Knowledge (nature) +45, Knowledge (planes) +45, Knowledge (religion) +42, Perception +55, Sense Motive +47, Spellcraft +45, Stealth +35, Swim +61, Use Magic Device +43; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Common, Draconic; speak with animals (aquatic animals only), telepathy 300 ft.
SQ compression, demon lord traits

Ecology

Environment any oceans (Abyss)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, Dagon can exhale a 60-foot cone of inky blackness. Underwater, this cone manifests as black ink, while above water it manifests as a thick cloud. Creatures in the area have their vision obscured as if they were in complete darkness. Darkvision does not allow someone to see through the ink or smoke, but true seeing does. The ink or smoke persists for 1d4 rounds, but dissipates in 1 round in areas with aquatic currents or winds. Any creature in the breath weapon’s area is exposed to the breath weapon’s poison (see below) and must succeed at a DC 41 Will save or gain 2 negative levels as its memories and knowledge leach away (this is a mind-affecting effect). Any creature that enters the ink or cloud, or ends its turn inside it, must succeed at another Will save (at a +4 bonus) to avoid further level loss and poisoning. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Command Aquatic Creature (Su) Dagon can command aquatic creatures to do his bidding as a move action, either via using his ability to speak with animals or via telepathy. This affects all aberrations, animals, magical beasts, oozes, and vermin within 300 feet that have the aquatic subtype (Will DC 36 negates). This functions like mass suggestion, but can affect mindless creatures. Dagon can suggest obviously harmful or suicidal acts (though non-mindless creatures gain a +10 bonus on their saving throws against these suggestions). The commanded course of activity can have a duration of up to 1 hour. If Dagon issues a new command to a creature, the previous command is discarded. Once a creature succeeds at its save against this effect, it is immune to further commands from Dagon for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex) Breath weapon—contact; save Fort DC 41; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Con drain and confused for 1 round; cure 3 consecutive saves.

Transformation (Su) A creature swallowed by Dagon is assaulted by demonic enzymes, rasping talons, sucking tendrils, and vile gases. At the start of the swallowed creature’s turn, it must succeed at a DC 41 Fortitude save or be nauseated, and must succeed at a DC 36 Will save or take 1d6 points of Dexterity and Charisma drain. Once the creature’s Dexterity and Charisma are drained to 0, the creature transforms into a horrifically deformed version of itself that Dagon can then disgorge into any adjacent square as a swift action. The transformed creature gains the half-fiend template, its Dexterity and Charisma return to their normal values, and it is under Dagon’s control (as dominate monster, caster level 28th). The transformation can be reversed by casting break enchantment and atonement on the victim during the first 24 hours (after that, it can be reversed only via miracle or wish). The Fortitude save DC is Constitution-based, and the Will save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

Dagon is the demon lord of deformity, the sea, and sea monsters. He rules an Abyssal realm that consists of an immense ocean dotted above with strange and horrible islands and marked below with countless deep sea trenches and sunken cities. Dagon is 35 feet long, with the lower body of an eel, a horrif ic visage that evokes images of deep sea predators, and four long tentacles in place of arms.

Dagon almost always uses Power Attack in combat, taking a –9 penalty on all attack rolls but gaining a +18 bonus on damage rolls. He is never encountered without a large number of aquatic demons or monsters at his side that he uses as pawns in battles, often simply commanding them to attack foes while he hangs back in the shadows and observes the fight with his cold eyes. Immense sharks, hezrous, carnivorous whales, krakens, and shoggoths are the demon lord’s favored minions.

Dagon began life not as a demon lord but as a powerful qlippoth—the reasons for his transformation into a demon lord are not understood by mortal scholars, but there is certainly no love lost between Dagon and the qlippoth race.

Dagon’s Cult

Dagon is worshiped primarily by boggards, heretical sahuagin and skum, marsh giants, and desperate or insane coastal dwellers. Most of his worshipers are grotesquely deformed or engage in various abhorrent practices of interbreeding with strange ichthyic or aquatic creatures that dwell nearby. His holy places are often decaying seaside churches, lighthouses, sea caves, or darkly beautiful underwater cathedrals. Often his worshipers also venerate various Great Old Ones, in particular Cthulhu, and it’s not unusual to find priests of Dagon and Cthulhu working side by side in a community.

Dagon is also known as the Shadow in the Sea. His unholy symbol is a gold disk inscribed with sinister runes around an open octopus eye. His favored weapon is the trident. He grants access to the domains of Chaos, Destruction, Evil, and Water, and access to the subdomains of Catastrophe, Demon, Oceans, and Rage.