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Dread Lord

Majestic in manner, this woman is clad in ornate plate armor and has a haunted look deep in her eyes.

Dread Lord CR 11

Source Horror Adventures pg. 234
XP 12,800
Human dread lord cavalier 11 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 32)
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +10
Aura fear aura (60 ft., DC 19)


AC 23, touch 12, flat-footed 22 (+10 armor, +1 deflection, +1 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 131 (11d10+66); fast healing 10
Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +9
DR 5/good or silver
Weaknesses landlocked


Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 greatsword +19/+14/+9 (2d6+10/17-20)
Ranged mwk composite longbow +15 (1d8+6/19-20)
Special Attacks all-seeing, banner +3/+2, cavalier's charge, challange (+11, +3, 4/day) mighty charge, physical mastery, unquestioned ruler
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +15)
At will—charm animal (DC 15), charm person(DC 15), detect thoughts (DC 16)
3/day—clairaudience/clairvoyance, dominate animal (DC 17), dominate person (DC 19), mass suggestion (DC 20), speak with animals, speak with plants, stone tell


Str 22, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 18
Base Atk +11; CMB +17; CMD 31
Feats Blind-Fight, Dazzling Display, Distracting ChargeACG, Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, OutflankAPG, Power Attack, Step Up, Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatsword)
Skills Climb +9, Handle Animal +18, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (history) +8, Knowledge (nobility) +8, Perception +10, Ride +12 (+17 on mount), Sense Motive +13, Swim +9
Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal
SQ expert trainer +5, greater tactician (3/day, 8 rounds, swift action), mount (horse), one with the land, order of the cockatrice (braggart, steal glory)


Environment any
Organization solitary or troop (1 plus 208 fighters of 4th-level)
Treasure NPC gear (+1 greatsword, +1 full plate, amulet of natural armor +1, cloak of resistance +3, ring of protection +1, masterwork composite longbow with 20 bolts)


Dread lords are intrinsically tied to the territories they inhabit, either through ancestry or by claiming them in costly battle. Ambitious and cunning in their pursuit of land and glory, once dread lords attain their goals of conquest, they transition into tragic figures. They might find themselves hollow once their dreams are fulfilled, having nothing else to strive for, or could becoming heartless toward their charges, seeing them as ungrateful for all the lord sacrificed.

Some lords come into power through vile deeds and become targets of powerful curses wreaked by people they wronged or powerful divine entities that demand retribution. These despicable creatures are transformed into brooding immortals known as cursed lords. Regardless of how they rose to rule over their lands, their dark domains are dangerous and haunted places, as described beginning on page 159.

Creating a Dread Lord

“Dread lord” is an acquired or inherited template that can be added to any creature with Intelligence and Charisma scores of at least 6 (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A dread lord uses the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here. If the creature is imprisoned within its domain as the result of a powerful curse, it instead becomes a cursed lord (see page 235).

Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 1.

Alignment: Any evil.

Senses: A dread lord gains darkvision 120 feet. Defensive Abilities: A dread lord gains DR 5/good or silver. A dread lord gains fast healing 5 if it has fewer than 10 Hit Dice, or fast healing 10 if it has 10 or more Hit Dice.

Weaknesses: A dread lord gains the following weakness.

Landlocked (Ex): A dread lord’s power is drawn directly from its domain, which has a radius of 5 miles per Hit Die of the dread lord, centered on a fixed point of some significance to the dread lord. The dread lord loses all benefits of this template when not within its domain.

Special Attacks: A dread lord gains several special attacks. For every 3 Hit Dice the dread lord has, it chooses a special attack from those listed below. Unless otherwise noted, the saving throw DCs for these abilities are equal to 10 + 1/2 the dread lord’s Hit Dice + its Charisma modifier. The dread lord’s caster level is equal to its total Hit Dice (or the caster level of its existing spell-like abilities, whichever is higher).

All-Seeing (Sp): Nothing happens in the dread lord’s realm without the dread lord becoming aware. It can use speak with animals, speak with plants, and stone tell as spell-like abilities each three times per day. If it has a CR of 5 or higher, it can use clairaudience/clairvoyance as a spell-like ability three times per day, and the spell’s range extends to any place in its domain.

Dream Dominion (Su): The dread lord has dominion over even the dreams of its subjects. It can use dream and nightmare as spell-like abilities, each once per day, but targeting only creatures within its domain. If it has a CR of 9 or higher, then once per week it can attempt to gain control of a creature whose dreams it affects in this way. If the target fails a secondary Will saving throw, the dread lord enslaves it, as per dominate monster, in addition to the dream or nightmare spell-like ability’s normal effects.

Fear Aura (Su): The dread lord is terrifying to behold. Any creature within a 60-foot radius that sees or hears the dread lord must succeed at a Will save or be shaken for as long as it is within the aura, and for 1 minute thereafter. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same dread lord’s fear aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Magical Mastery (Su): The dread lord draws magical power from its domain. It treats its caster level as 2 higher for the purposes of spells and spell-like abilities it casts, and the saving throw DCs of such spells and spell-like abilities increase by 1.

Master of the Four Winds (Sp): The dread lord can control the weather within its domain. It can use fog cloud and gust of wind as spell-like abilities each three times per day. If it has a CR of 5 or higher, it can use control weather as a spell-like ability once per day. If it has a CR of 8 or higher, it can use control winds as a spell-like ability once per day.

Physical Mastery (Su): The dread lord draws strength and deftness from its domain. It gains a +4 profane bonus to its Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores.

Plant Affinity (Sp): The dread lord’s control over its lands extends to the very plants. It can use entangle as a spell-like ability at will, and plant growth as a spell-like ability once per day. If it has a CR of 5 or higher, it can use tree stride as a spell-like ability at will. If it has a CR of 10 or higher, it can use liveoak as a spell-like ability once per day.

Unquestioned Ruler (Sp): The dread lord’s subjects naturally bend to its will. It can use charm animal, charm person, and detect thoughts as spell-like abilities at will. If it has a CR of 10 or higher, it can use dominate animal, dominate person, and mass suggestion as spell-like abilities three times per day.

Special Qualities: A dread lord gains the following special ability.

One with the Land (Su): A dread lord can shape the hazardous landscapes formed as a consequence of its domain’s creation to its will. It can replace any normal or supernatural hazard present in its domain with another hazard, but the process takes 24 hours, during which time neither hazard functions. The combined CR of all hazards found within a lord’s domain (that is, the CR of a hypothetical encounter with all of the hazards at once) can’t exceed twice its Hit Dice, and it cannot create any hazards whose CR exceeds its own. A dread lord’s affinity with the land grants it a +2 bonus on all Will saves.

Ability Scores: Intelligence +4, Charisma +4.

Cursed Lords

Cursed lords gain dominion over their lands through evil deeds that result in powerful curses that trap them within their realms. They have all the abilities of dread lords, with the following additions and adjustments.

Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 2.

Defensive Abilities: Cursed lords gain the following.

Immortal Curse (Su): Even death can’t free a cursed lord from its domain, and cursed lords that are killed return to life 24 hours later. When a cursed lord is created, a specific condition is determined by the source of the cursed lord’s curse, which must be performed in order for the cursed lord to be permanently slain. The exact means vary with each cursed lord, are difficult but never impossible, and should be created specifically for each cursed lord by the GM. Examples include disinterring the corpse of the lord’s slain lover and reburying it outside the domain, stealing vast treasures from the lord’s castle and returning them to the poor people they were stolen from, or destroying a dam to set free a river the cursed lord has prevented from flowing through its lands.

Weaknesses: A cursed lord gains the following weakness.

Trapped (Ex): A cursed lord is unable to leave its domain by any means, and effects such as plane shift, shadow walk, teleport, and even wish fail. If its domain is bordered by dread fog (see page 161), the mists inevitably guide the cursed lord back to its domain after 1 hour.

Ability Scores: Wisdom –4.