Archives of Nethys

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Archdevil

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 15
The greatest and most terrible of devils are the archdevils of Hell, powerful scions of law and evil, subtle and sophisticated demigods who each rule one of the eight vast planes of torment that form the layers of Hell. Each archdevil is a unique creature, and each fits into a specific role in the cosmic chain of corruption and oppression that devils use to bind the cosmos to their will. The first archdevils rose to power soon after their lord Asmodeus claimed Hell as his realm. Asmodeus has guided the rise of other archdevils, sometimes directly creating them as he did Belial and Mephistopheles. Others are older beings who pledged their allegiance to Asmodeus during heavenly rebellions, like Baalzebul and Dispater. Asmodeus has even been known, when in need of additional loyal viceroys, to grant archdevildom to creatures outside the diabolic race, as in the case of ascended mysteries like Barbatos and Geryon.

Below the ranks of true archdevils are Hell’s infernal dukes. These infernal nobles have the potential for power equal to some of the archdevils, but without a layer of Hell under their rule, they cannot truly be counted the equal of an archdevil. An infernal duke can rise in power by gaining class levels, advancing in Hit Dice, gaining mythic ranks, undertaking a vile ritual, amassing a sufficiently large and devoted following, or, rarely, at the leave of their blasphemous lords. However, until Asmodeus sees fit to award an infernal duke its own layer of Hell (to replace a fallen archdevil or one being punished via demotion to infernal duke), such a devil is not itself an archdevil. It should be noted that as scions of law, infernal dukes and archdevils remain loyal to Asmodeus and Hell, though they might resort to trickery and subterfuge to bolster their own resources and reputations. Those who are not loyal are quickly and inevitably revealed as traitors and punished accordingly by the Prince of Darkness. There can be any number of infernal dukes in Hell, but as Asmodeus himself rules the ninth layer of Hell, only eight archdevils can exist at any one time.

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

The Layers of Hell

Each archdevil rules one of the eight upper layers of Hell, with infernal dukes ruling fiefdoms within it. These layers are immense in size and composed of hundreds or even thousands of smaller subdomains, each of which may be the size of a continent or as small as a strange and secret city. The environments, themes, and traits of each layer are as unique as the archdevils themselves and can shift and change in response to the mood and intention of its archdevil master. An archdevil does not exert total control over its realm, though, and powerful adventurers can infiltrate a layer and accomplish various goals without arousing the anger of its archdevil overlord—if they are careful.

An archdevil gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities):
  • Mythic: An archdevil functions as a 10th-rank mythic creature, including having the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It can expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with a superscript “M,” 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 and miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the archdevil’s area of concern).
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): An archdevil gains a +10 insight bonus on Sense Motive checks and Initiative checks.

Archdevils in a Campaign

Each archdevil is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Their CRs have no impact on their standing or influence in Hell’s hierarchy. Between raw power, ingenious contingencies, and legions of servants, Asmodeus’s deputies share roughly similar potential for nefariousness and ruin. In any case, archdevils 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 a long campaign—especially campaigns in which the PCs themselves are mythic characters—and even getting an audience with one should be a memorable event.

Yet while archdevils are beyond the abilities of most heroes to combat directly, they are perfect puppet masters and masterminds, inspiring and directing monsters, mortals, and entire cults at every level of a campaign. Halting a sinister ritual to unleash an archdevil on the world is a classic capstone, allowing a brief encounter with the archdevil and its minions before the ritual is halted and the archdevil forced back to Hell. Alternatively, the heroes can work to destroy an archdevil’s resources, imposing increasing penalties on it and gathering potent weapons to use against it, allowing PCs to face the archdevil at a diminished CR or with negative levels (even though they are normally immune to negative levels) to represent its reduced power... until the archdevil can rebuild and recover its strength.

Creatures in "Archdevil" Category

NameCR
Baalzebul30
Barbatos26
Belial28
Dispater27
Geryon29
Mammon28
Mephistopheles30
Moloch29

Archdevil, Geryon

This tripartite being has three humanoid bodies engulfed from the waist down by a tangle of three immense serpents.

Geryon CR 29

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 24
XP 6,553,600
LE Huge outsider (aquatic, devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect chaos, detect good, scent, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +47
Aura frightful presence (120 ft., DC 38), shield of law (DC 29)

Defense

AC 47, touch 32, flat-footed 42 (+4 deflection, +5 Dex, +8 natural, +15 profane, +7 shield, –2 size)
hp 731 (34d10+544); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +31, Ref +28, Will +33; +8 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, envenomed scales, infernal resurrection, mind blank, threefold body; DR 20/ epic, good, and silver; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm, cold, compulsion, death effects, energy drain, fire, memory loss effects, petrification, poison; Resist acid 30; SR 40

Offense

Speed 50 ft., swim 50 ft., air walk
Melee +5 cruel dispelling burst unholy flail +47/+42/+37/+32 (3d6+19/19–20), +1 heavy shield +43/+38 (2d6+15/19–20), 3 claws +41 (1d6+7), 3 tail slaps +41 (2d6+7/19–20 plus poison)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks casterbane, corrupting caress, perceive destiny
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 29th; concentration +40)
Constant—air walk, detect chaos, detect good, mind blank, shield of law (DC 29), true seeing
At will—astral projection, black tentaclesM, desecrateM, dictumM (DC 28), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, mindwipe (DC 25), modify memoryM (DC 25), order’s wrathM (DC 25), unhallow, wall of ice
3/day—feeblemind (DC 26), quickened mindwipe (DC 25), mislead, persistent image (DC 26), summon devils, vision
1/day—prediction of failure (DC 29), time stopM, wishM
M Geryon can use this ability’s mythic version in its realm.

Statistics

Str 38, Dex 21, Con 42, Int 33, Wis 30, Cha 33
Base Atk +34; CMB +50 (+54 disarm, trip); CMD 84 (86 vs. disarm, can’t be tripped)
Feats Blinding Critical, Combat Expertise, Critical Focus, Double Slice, Greater Disarm, Greater Trip, Improved Critical (flail, heavy shield, tail slap), Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Shield Bash, Improved Trip, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (mindwipe), Spellbreaker, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Bluff +48, Diplomacy +48, Intimidate +48, Know. (arcana, dungeoneering, engineering, geography, history, local, nature, nobility, religion) +45, Know. (planes) +48, Linguistics +48, Perception +47, Sense Motive +47, Spellcraft +48, Swim +21
Languages all (language mastery); telepathy 300 ft.
SQ amphibious, change shape (humanoid and serpentine; shapechange)

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (+5 arrow deflection bashing heavy steel shield, +5 cruel dispelling burst unholy flail, Horn of Lies, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Casterbane (Ex) Geryon’s foresight allows it to counterspell using greater dispel magic as an immediate action, with a +4 bonus to counter or dispel divine spells. It gains Spellbreaker as a bonus feat, and a spellcaster who fails a concentration check to cast defensively become flat-footed to Geryon until the end of its next turn.
Corrupting Caress (Su) A creature damaged by Geryon’s natural attacks or melee weapons becomes unable to cast divine spells or activate domain powers, channel positive energy, or smite evil for 1 round (Will DC 38 negates). The duration stacks with multiple failed saves, but a creature that successfully saves cannot be further targeted by Geryon’s corrupting caress for 24 hours. This is a curse effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Envenomed Scales (Ex) Creatures that strike Geryon with melee touch attacks, unarmed strikes, or natural attacks are exposed to its poison, as are creatures that confirm a critical hit on Geryon with a piercing or slashing weapon in melee.
Immune to Memory Loss (Ex) Geryon is immune to the effects of the River Styx and to all effects that cause memory loss or manipulate memories.
Perceive Destiny (Su) As an immediate action, Geryon can train its threefold gaze upon a creature to perceive its past, present, and future, granting Geryon a +4 insight bonus to its AC and on attack rolls, opposed skill checks, and Reflex saves against that creature and attacks or effects created by that creature until the end of its next turn. This affects creatures using mind blank, nondetection, or similar protection from divination only if Geryon succeeds at a caster level check (DC = 11 + the effect’s caster level + the mythic tier of the caster, for mythic effects).
Poison (Ex) Tail slap—injury; save Fort DC 43; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Int drain; cure 3 saves.
Threefold Body (Ex) Geryon’s vital organs and senses are spread across all three of its linked bodies. An effect that would cause it to become blinded or deafened instead affects only one of its bodies, unless it affects an area or targets each body as a separate creature. If one body is blinded or deafened, Geryon suffers no ill effects. If two bodies are blinded or deafened, it loses its all-around vision and is dazzled. Geryon is blinded or deafened only if all three bodies are blinded or deafened. It likewise has a 75% chance to ignore critical hits, sneak attack damage, and similar precision-based damage.

Description

Geryon, the source of blasphemies, has ruled in Hell longer than any other archdevil. When Asmodeus and his legions migrated to Hell, Geryon reigned as an asura rana, an emperor among divine mistakes. After bargaining with Asmodeus, Geryon betrayed its brethren, assuring devilkind’s stranglehold over Hell and cementing its continued rule over the bleak marshes of Stygia. Ever since, Geryon has numbered among Hell’s greatest and most enigmatic rulers, a connoisseur of impossible truths and a font of heresies.

Geryon is a knot of three 20-foot-long, scaled worms. From its maws it can partially regurgitate and speak with the voices of any being it has ever devoured—be they mortals, fiends, or stranger eldritch beings. As a result of its covenant with Asmodeus, Geryon is now a true devil.

Geryon's Cult

Geryon is worshiped by those who crave forbidden knowledge. Its sacred places are hidden within libraries or amid the ruined temples of nigh-forgotten gods and fallen kingdoms.

Geryon’s unholy symbol is a shadowed, red-and-black serpent’s head. It favored weapon is the heavy f lail. It grants access to the domains of Evil, Law, Strength, and Water, and to the subdomains of Devil, Ferocity, Oceans, and Resolve.