Excerpts 12/07/2006


Fiendish Codex II Excerpts
By Robin D. Laws and Robert J. Schwalb



The evil that finds you might not be the one that you expect. Learn more about devils and their insidious ways in Fiendish Codex II, where both Dungeon Masters and players alike can find something useful to either enhance the evil of their devilish villains or fight it. For a sample of what's in store for you in this tome, take a look at Dis, a list of new feats, the hellfire warlock prestige class, a list of new spells, and the assassin devil.

Hellfire Warlock (Chapter 3: Game Rules)

"It is not the weapon that is evil, but the wielder."
-- Galena Todrick, hellfire warlock

The hellfire warlocks are a secretive group of specialist warlocks who have mastered hellfire, a dangerous energy found only in the Nine Hells. By tapping into this infernal power, these characters learn to infuse their eldritch blasts and magic items that they wield with the dark power of hellfire.

Becoming a Hellfire Warlock

Prospective hellfire warlocks must fulfill strict requirements to gain entry to the class, making this prestige class exclusive to warlocks. While most characters who pursue the hellfire warlock class are otherwise single-class warlocks, multiclass warlocks with wizard levels are also common. Multiclass warlock/rogues, warlock/clerics, or even warlock/fighters are also possible, but entry into the prestige class is restricted until higher levels.

Entry Requirements

Skills: Intimidate 6 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 12 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks.

Language: Infernal.

Warlock Invocation: Must know brimstone blast or hellrime blast.

Class Features

The hellfire warlock class offers great power at the expense of versatility. This prestige class presents a focused approach to tap the power of the Nine Hells, though often at a grave price. As they advance, these warlocks can access greater uses of hellfire, including the ability to infuse magic items with the power of hellfire and lash out with the fires of Hell against any foe that strikes them.

Hellfire Blast (Sp): Whenever you use your eldritch blast ability, you can change your eldritch blast into a hellfire blast. A hellfire blast deals your normal eldritch blast damage plus an extra 2d6 points of damage per class level. If your blast hits multiple targets (for example, the eldritch chain or eldritch cone blast shape invocations), each target takes the extra damage. This damage is not fire damage. Hellfire burns hotter than any normal fire, as described in the sidebar on page 119.

Each time you use this ability, you take 1 point of Constitution damage. Because the diabolical forces behind the power of hellfire demand part of your essence in exchange for this granted power, if you do not have a Constitution score or are somehow immune to Constitution damage, you cannot use this ability.

Invoking: At each level, you gain new invocations known, increased damage with eldritch blast, and an increase in invoker level as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

Resistance to Fire 10 (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain resistance to fire 10. This resistance stacks with any resistance to fire you have gained from warlock class levels.

Hellfire Infusion (Su): Starting at 2nd level, you can infuse magic items that you wield with the power of hellfire. Whenever you use a charged magic item (such as a wand or a staff), you can apply one of the following metamagic effects to your next use of the item: empower, enlarge, widen, or energy substitution. These effects work just like the metamagic feats of the same name (the Energy Substitution feat is described on page 79 of Complete Arcane). Using hellfire infusion is a swift action. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum one). When you infuse an item with hellfire, it glows briefly with fiery symbols that are disturbing to look upon.

Hellfire Shield (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, you can call up hellfire to surround yourself with a protective barrier. Whenever someone directs a melee attack against you, you can, as an immediate action, aim a blast of hellfire at that creature. This blast deals damage equal to your eldritch blast (including bonus damage from the hellfire blast ability). This blast automatically strikes the target, which can attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Cha modifier).

Each time you use this ability, you take 1 point of Constitution damage. Because the diabolical forces behind the power of hellfire demand part of your essence in exchange for this granted power, if you do not have a Constitution score or are somehow immune to Constitution damage, you cannot use this ability.

Playing a Hellfire Warlock

You walk a dangerous path. Each use of hellfire brings you ever closer to death. You must be vigilant in your resolve and resist using this terrible magic recklessly. Since you wield the power of Hell itself, others are suspicious at best and downright hostile at worst. They fail to understand why you would use such power willingly and how you can resist its allure.

Combat

Using the abilities granted by this prestige class carries dangerous consequences. The Consitution damage that results from the use of your powers can be healed, and many hellfire warlocks carry wands of lesser restoration to compensate for the draining nature of their power. However, the hit point loss that results from Constitution damage can be the difference between living and dying in a close-fought combat, so restrict use of these abilities to when you are confident doing so will have a meaningful effect on a battle's outcome.

Advancement

Hellfire warlocks enter this class after being exposed to some infernal agency. Witnessing the power inherent in hellfire creates a strong attraction many find too strong to resist. It's possible you were one of these types, or maybe you stumbled across hellfire while experimenting with eldritch blast.

Once you take your first level in this class, it's best to invest in the Use Magic Device skill so you can easily use items that heal the Constitution damage that you take.

Resources

Hellfire warlocks lack any formal community, since they are often loners by nature, sequestering themselves away to further study and refine their techniques. Baatezu target you and your colleaques with promises of assistance, magic, and even combat support. Their motives are clear, but they offer great power and often compelling reasons to join them.

Hellfire Warlocks in the World

"The offering of hellfire is yet one more way the fiends have worked their claws into our world. Each mortal who thinks to master this fell power is yet one more fool offering his soul to the Lord of the Eighth."

-- Alód the Traveler, planeshifter

Most hellfire warlocks whom the PCs encounter have likely already succumbed to the temptations of evil. Usually minions in the service of an infernal cult, they lead groups of thugs or devils against good organizations or to hunt down and destroy adventurers. Only in the rarest circumstances does a hellfire warlock resist these temptations and use her power to advance the cause of good.

Organization

Since hellfire warlocks are nearly universally reviled, these characters keep to themselves. Their isolation pushes them to test the limits of their morality, and in time, most succumb to the darkness blooming within them. Hellfire warlocks are jealous and petty. They see others who practice their dark art as threats to their prominence and power, so these characters are swift to destroy their rivals.

Some hellfire warlocks attach themselves to infernal cults, believing that through service to an archfiend, they can increase their knowledge and skill. Hellfire warlocks act as guardians and enforcers in such organizations, valued for their combat capabilities.

NPC Reactions

Even those hellfire warlocks who shy away from evil in the face of such wickedness meet scorn and derision in the world. Warlocks are generally not trusted, and those who willingly use the tools of evil for any reason are tantamount to the fiends themselves in the minds of most folk. Hence, most hellfire warlocks conceal their natures, using their infernal powers only when forced.

So long as a hellfire warlock maintains her anonymity, she finds others are indifferent. Those who become aware of her capabilities immediately become unfriendly, seeing her as a menace. This animosity extends even to evil creatures, which are often unsure what to make of such a curious character -- or see her as a rival to be destroyed.

Hellfire Warlock Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can research hellfire warlocks to learn more about them. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Hellfire warlocks use the flames of Hell to power their abilities.

DC 15: Hellfire is a cruel mistress, weakening those who court her.

DC 20: Though hellfire itself is anathema to good, not all who wield it are evil. Some manage to temper the corrupting effects with a strong will and steadfast resolve. The mightiest among them even bend hellfire to serve the forces of good.

Hellfire warlocks are reclusive. They refrain from revealing themselves to the public, lurking at the fringes of society and only emerging when circumstances demand it. Player characters trying to locate a hellfire warlock need to succeed on a DC 25 Gather Information check. If a PC looks for a hellfire warlock in a community whose alignment is predominantly evil, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.

Hellfire Warlocks in the Game

A hellfire warlock is a natural extension of the warlock class. One can be a new agent in the armies of the Nine Hells or an established occultist who dabbles in the forbidden.

Hellfire warlocks are particularly attractive to players who enjoy playing antiheroes. This prestige class grants access to otherwise forbidden abilities. This class is also specifically intended for the warlock class, enabling you to expand this potent class in new directions.

Adaptation

As written, a hellfire warlock serves as an extension of the warlock class from Complete Arcane. If you don't use this class, you can adapt this prestige class for use with other characters. Exchange the invocations requirement with the ability to cast fireball. Instead of improving invocations known, the hellfire warlock improves the character's arcane spellcasting ability by one level per class level. Instead of gaining hellfire blast, the character can deal an extra 1d6 points of damage per class level with evocation spells that deal damage. This ability costs the character 1 point of Constitution just like the hellfire blast class feature. The character gains the fire resistance, hellfire infusion, and hellfire shield abilities as normal.

Sample Encounter

Since hellfire warlocks often give in to evil temptations, player characters are most likely to encounter these characters as adversaries. A hellfire warlock might be part of a powerful strike force employed by a fiendish enemy of the PCs to eliminate the threat they pose.

EL 13: Galena leads a pair of bone devils to destroy the PCs in revenge for some past deed that thwarted her master's plan. She originally became a hellbred to atone for a misspent life, but between her newfound abilities and the magic she employed as a warlock, she succumbed to the lure of infernal power and turned to evil once more.

Galena Todrick CR 12
Female hellbred warlock (Complete Arcane) 9/hellfire warlock 3
NE Medium humanoid (hellbred)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft., see in darkness; Listen +0, Spot +0
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 14; Dodge, Mobility
(+2 Dex, +1 armor, +2 deflection, +1 natural)
hp 44 (12 HD); fiendish resilience 1 (1/day); DR 2/cold iron
Resist fire 10
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +10

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares); Shot on the Run
Melee spear +7/+2 (1d6-1/x3)
Ranged eldritch blast ranged touch +10 (6d6) or
Ranged hellfire blast ranged touch +10 (12d6)
Base Atk +8; Grp +7
Atk Options Point Blank Shot
Special Actions hellfire shield (DC 22)
Combat Gear oil of curse weapon, potion of protection from good, potion of cure moderate wounds, wand of magic missile (CL 7th, 50 charges), wand of lesser restoration (25 charges)
Invocations Known (CL 12th):
At will -- brimstone blast (DC 21), eldritch chain, eldritch cone (DC 23), entropic warding, hellrime blast (DC 22), see the unseen, spiderwalk
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th):
At will -- detect magic, eldritch blast (ranged touch +10, 6d6), hellfire blast (ranged touch +10, 12d6)
Abilities Str 8, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 22
SQ deceive item, evil exception, hellbound, hellfire infusion, imbue item, infernal aspect (spirit)
Feats Ability Focus (eldritch blast), Dodge, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run
Skills Concentration +9, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (the planes) +14, Knowledge (religion) +5, Spellcraft +14 (+16 decipher scrolls), Survival +0 (+2 on other planes), Use Magic Device +18 (+20 scrolls)
Possessions combat gear plus spear, ring of protection +2, amulet of natural armor +1, bracers of armor +1, cloak of Charisma +2, vest of resistance +2
Hook "Die!"

Bone Devils (2): hp 95 each; MM 52.

Table 3-3: The Hellfire Warlock Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Invoking
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Hellfire blast +2d6 +1 level of existing invoking class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Hellfire blast +4d6, hellfire infusion, resistance to fire 10 +1 level of existing invoking class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Hellfire blast +6d6, hellfire shield +1 level of existing invoking class

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Concentration, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (religion), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.

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