This month’s column introduces a new monster that will be useful for people playing with the two newest 13th Age books, Fire & Faith and Book of Demons (as of now, both available for pre-order). The mini-adventures collected in Fire & Faith feature the same icons who are most prominent in Book of Demons: the Diabolist, Crusader, and Great Gold Wyrm, icons who are tangled with demons, one way or another.
Book of Demons includes monster stats for a number of demons, including hellhole denizens and the creatures summoned by demonologists. But as I compared the two books, I realized there’s a specific demon that appears more often than I expected: the despoiler from page 210 of the 13th Age core rulebook. Fire & Faith includes a named despoiler, Fastulii, who has a couple of special abilities and is less of a wimp in melee; but in lots of other places, Fire & Faith refers to normal despoilers and the higher-level despoiler mages.
Despoilers are an interesting monster, but why do they appear so often? I suspect it’s because they’re the only normal-sized demon spellcaster that’s presented as a generic demon. Maybe there’s room for another demon caster that might appear anywhere in your campaign rather than in a specific adventure or hellhole.
The demon caster below should also be useful when you’re running the hellhole adventures in Book of Demons. As we did for the despoiler, I’ve also provided a higher level version, since building battles is a lot easier when you have normal monsters to work with as well as large and huge creatures.
As the flavor text suggests, you should make them look like anything you wish! I think it might be more fun to have demonic spellcasters occupying a variety of forms, instead of putting them into a single mold.
Sometimes they’re stocky and twisted little creatures, easy to overlook until they’ve set you on fire. Other times they’re tall hooded demons in flamboyant robes that mock the Empire’s arcane traditions.
5th level caster [demon]
Warp rod +10 vs. PD—14 damage, and teleport the abyssal blaster to a nearby location it can see
Natural 1-5: Deal 2d6 damage to both the abyssal mage and the target, and this warp rod attack no longer teleports the mage when it hits.
R: Abyssal blast +10 vs. PD—14 fire damage
Natural even hit: 1d6 ongoing fire damage per point on the escalation die when the attack hits.
Natural 18+: The abyssal mage can make another abyssal blast as a quick action.
Fed by fire: Add +2 to the abyssal mage’s defenses for each enemy taking ongoing fire damage.
PD 19 HP 68
Greater Abyssal Mage
By now you know they’re going to look like whatever worries you most.
8th level caster [demon]
Warp staff +13 vs. PD—30 damage, and teleport the greater abyssal mage to a nearby location it can see
Natural 1-5: Deal 2d12 damage to both the greater abyssal mage and the target, and this warp staff attack no longer teleports the mage when it hits.
R: Abyssal blast +13 vs. PD—30 fire OR negative energy damage (greater abyssal mage chooses)
Natural even hit: 1d12 ongoing fire or ongoing negative energy damage per point on the escalation die when the attack hits.
Natural 18+: The greater abyssal mage can make another abyssal blast as a quick action.
Fed by calamity: Add +2 to the greater abyssal mage’s defenses for each enemy taking ongoing fire and/or negative energy damage.
Unholy pyres: Also add +1 to the defenses of other demons in the battle for each enemy taking ongoing fire and/or negative energy damage.
PD 22 HP 136