Archives of Nethys

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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, Nocticula

This frighteningly majestic creature spreads wide her runeadorned wings. Molten iron weeps from her hooves, and her three tails are studded with barbs.

Nocticula CR 30

Source Pathfinder #76: The Midnight Isles pg. 86
XP 9,830,400
CE Medium outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, detect law, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +58
Aura seductive presence (180 ft., DC 43), unholy aura (DC 33)

Defense

AC 48, touch 41, flat-footed 35 (+4 deflection, +13 Dex, +7 natural, +14 profane)
hp 774 (36d10+576); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +32, Ref +37, Will +35
Defensive Abilities Abyssal resurrection, freedom of movement; DR 20/cold iron, epic, and lawful; Immune ability damage and drain, charm and compulsion effects, death effects, electricity, energy drain, fire, petrification, poison; Resist acid 30, cold 30; SR 41

Offense

Speed 60 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee 2 claws +48 (1d8+12 plus 1d4 Cha drain), 3 stings +48 (2d6+12/19–20 plus poison), 2 hooves +43 (1d4+6 plus 1d6 fire and burn), 2 wings +43 (1d4+6)
Ranged Shadowkiss +54/+49/+44/+39 (1d4+20/17–20 plus poison)
Special Attacks burn (3d6 fire, DC 44), cruel shot, domination, energy drain, poison, profane ascension, sneak attack +4d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 30th)
Constant—detect good, detect law, freedom of movement, tongues, true seeing, unholy aura (DC 33)
At will—astral projection, blasphemy (DC 32), chaos hammer (DC 29), deeper darkness, desecrate, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, power word blind, telekinesis (DC 30), shapechange, unhallow
3/day—finger of death (DC 32), quickened mass suggestion (DC 31), summon demons, symbol of death (DC 33)
1/day—soul bind (DC 34), time stop, wail of the banshee (DC 34)

Statistics

Str 34, Dex 36, Con 42, Int 35, Wis 32, Cha 40
Base Atk +36; CMB +48; CMD 89
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Critical Focus, Deadly Aim, Flyby Attack, Greater Feint, Improved Critical (hand crossbow), Improved Critical (sting), Improved Feint, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (mass suggestion), Rapid Reload (hand crossbow), Rapid Shot, Staggering Critical
Skills Acrobatics +52, Bluff +62, Diplomacy +54, Disguise +51, Fly +56, Intimidate +51, Knowledge (arcana, local, nobility) +48, Knowledge (planes, religion) +51, Perception +58, Perform (dance) +51, Sense Motive +50, Sleight of Hand +49, Spellcraft +48, Stealth +52, Use Magic Device +54; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff, +8 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Undercommon; telepathy 300 ft., tongues
SQ change shape (any humanoid; alter self), swift transformation

Ecology

Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (Shadowkiss, 100,000 gp in various jewelry, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Cruel Shot (Ex) Nocticula is adept at making ranged attacks to strike cruel shots that deal significant and humiliating damage. She adds her Charisma bonus to all damage dealt by ranged weapons.

Domination (Su) As a standard action, Nocticula can crush a foe’s will. The target must be visible to Nocticula and within 120 feet. It must succeed at a DC 43 Will save or fall instantly under Nocticula’s influence as dominate monster (CL 30th). If she uses domination against a humanoid creature, she may instead choose to use the ability as a swift action, and it functions as dominate person. As long as the target is under this effect, it gains a +4 profane bonus on all saving throws against targets other than Nocticula.

Energy Drain (Su) Nocticula’s energy drain functions identically to that of a succubus (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 68), except that she drains 2 levels when she uses this ability against mythic creatures, or 1d6+4 levels against non-mythic creatures.

Poison (Ex) Sting or hand crossbow—injury; save Fort DC 44; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Wisdom drain plus paralysis for 1 round. Anyone who fails two consecutive saves against this poison is permanently blinded. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Profane Ascension (Su) As a swift action while in an act of passion with a willing mortal, Nocticula may grant a profane ascension. The target’s name appears in glowing Abyssal runes on Nocticula’s wings, and a crimson mark manifests somewhere on the target’s body. The target immediately gains a +6 profane bonus to any one ability score of its choice, a +4 profane bonus to any other ability score of its choice, and the see in darkness ability. A single creature may have only one profane ascension in effect at any one time. As long as the effect persists, Nocticula can communicate telepathically with the target across any distance and may use any of her spell-like abilities through the target, manifesting them as if the target were using them. A profane ascension may be removed by a miracle or wish. Nocticula can remove it as a free action, dealing 4d6 points of Charisma drain and imparting 1d10+10 permanent negative levels to the victim.

Seductive Presence (Su) Unlike most demon lords, Nocticula does not possess a frightful presence ability. Rather, she has a seductive presence that she can activate as a free action whenever she speaks or uses a spell-like ability. Anyone within 180 feet who fails a DC 43 Fortitude save loses any immunity to mind-affecting effects, charm effects, and compulsion effects, and becomes fascinated by Nocticula for 5d4 rounds. A creature affected by a mind-affecting effect while within this aura remains affected even after leaving Nocticula’s seductive presence. Creatures that succeed at this saving throw are immune to this ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Shadowkiss Nocticula’s favored weapon is Shadowkiss, a +5 unholy hand crossbow that magically creates ammunition as it fires. Once a target is damaged by a bolt fired from Shadowkiss, the hand crossbow gains the bane weapon special ability against that target’s creature type on all further attacks. Shadowkiss may only have one bane effect in place at one time. Bolts fired from Shadowkiss gain the ghost touch ability (an effect not normally available to ranged weapons).

Swift Transformation (Ex) Nocticula can use her change shape ability as a free action.

Description

Nocticula is the demon lord of assassins, darkness, and lust, and rules the Abyssal realm of the Midnight Isles, a vast archipelago formed around the murdered remnants of dozens of demon lords and other powerful foes. Having been the first succubus and then having ascended to become a demigoddess, Nocticula now sets her eyes at a greater prize—full divinity. Lamashtu is the only demon lord who has accomplished this task so far, but Nocticula aims to be the second. What kind of deity she might become is anyone’s guess—some believe that Nocticula is secretly seeking redemption from her demonic nature. Others say these rumors were seeded by Nocticula herself as a grand lie to distract her enemies from her true goal of becoming an assassin and seducer of gods.

Nocticula is certainly mercurial in her personality and attitude. She may simply murder or enslave visitors to her realm, or she may welcome them with open arms—even those who one would think were her enemies. Only a fool accepts her invitation without suspicion, for what the queen of succubi wants may change dramatically from one moment to the next.

Nocticula’s Cult

Nocticula is worshiped by assassins, the lustful, whores, shadow-using creatures, and of course succubi. These worshipers form relatively small cults, often akin to secret societies, that use brothels, nobility, or academies as a cover for their true purposes. A small number of heretics venerate her as well, not as a demigoddess of murder and lust but as one of outcasts, artists, and the glories of midnight. The fact that such heretical clerics are granted spells as surely as the rest of her worshipers has caused not a small amount of discontent among her faithful, which Nocticula seems to enjoy.

Nocticula’s symbol is a multi-pointed crown wrapped with thorny vines. Her favored weapon is the hand crossbow. She grants access to the domains of Chaos, Charm, Darkness, and Evil, and to the subdomains of Demon, Loss, Lust, and Night.