This month, in keeping with our theme of "fantasy meets the future," we offer you two new monsters: the Vrill and the Stellar Deva celestial. Both these creatures make appearances in this month's original online adventureThe Vessel of Stars. I designed these new creatures with the aid of the excellent "How to Create a Monster: Recipes for Disaster" article by Skip Williams in the October issue of Dragon magazine.
Stellar Deva Celestial
|| Medium-Size Outsider (Good, Lawful)
|| Medium-Size Outsider (Good, Lawful)
| Hit Dice:
|| 2d8+6 (12 hp)
|| 6d8+18 (45 hp)
|| + 6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
|| +8 (+4 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
|| 40 ft., fly 80 ft. (perfect)
|| 40 ft., fly 100 ft. (perfect)
|| 19 (+2 Dex)
|| 21 (+4 Dex)
|| 2 light rays +6 ranged touch, or slam +6 melee; or +2 sunblade +6 melee (+8 vs. evil); or positive rod +4 ranged touch
|| 2 light rays +11 ranged touch; or 2 slams +10 melee; or sun mace* +10 melee (+12 vs. evil); or positive rod +10 ranged touch
|| Light ray 4d8, slam 1d6+4, sunblade 1d10+6 (+8 vs. evil or vrill)
|| Light ray 5d8, slam 1d6+ 4, heavy sun mace* 1d8+8 (+10 vs. evil)
|| * Sun mace: as sunblade except a heavy mace
|| 5 ft.by 5 ft./5ft.
|| 5 ft. by 5 ft./5ft.
| Special Attacks:
|| Spell-like abilities, emotion, positive energy
|| Spell-like abilities, positive energy
| Special Qualities:
|| Damage reduction 10/+1, SR16, celestial qualities, alternate form
|| Damage reduction 10/+1, SR 20, celestial qualities, true seeing, alternate form, brand (Sigil of Stars)
|| Fort +6, Ref +5/+7, Will +6
|| Fort +8, Ref +9/+10, Will +8
| Abilities (hum. form):
|| Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 18
|| Str 18, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 20
| Abilities (star form):
|| Str 1, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 18
|| Str 1, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 20
|| Concentration +8, Escape Artist +7, Hide +6, Knowledge or craft (any two) +8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Sense Motive +8
|| Concentration +10, Escape Artist +11, Hide +11, Knowledge (any three) +13, Listen +11, Move Silently +11, Sense Motive +12
|| Improved Initiative
|| Improved Initiative, Flyby Attack
|| Any land and underground
|| Any land and underground
|| Solitary, pair, or brood (3-5)
| Challenge Rating:
|| Double Standard
|| Always lawful good
|| Always lawful good
|| 3-6 HD (Medium-Size)
|| 7-18 HD (Medium-Size)
Stellar devas, or starkin, appear much like tall, overly thin, faintly luminescent human. They can shift to a bright, twinkling point of light like a star in the night sky. Some say stellar devas are quite like the stars -- cold and distant.
Their lithe, supple forms mask a surprising strength and fortitude. They generally seem to be beautiful humans of palest complexion with white, black, or even silver hair and eyes that seem to reflect fields of star-speckled space. In their star form, stellar devas appear as a roughly human-sized point of light twinkling through every color of the spectrum.
Stellar devas speak Celestial, Infernal, Draconic and Vrill.
Stellar devas are adept at and enjoy melee combat. Each carries a +2 sunblade and a crystalline rod used to channel bolts of positive energy. These swordsas well as the Emprix's mace loose all magical abilities in the hands of other beings, becoming non-magical masterworks.
Light Ray (Ex): A stellar deva's light rays (usable only in its star form) have a range of 30 ft.
Spell-like Abilities: At will – aid, continual flame, detect evil, light, remove disease and remove fear; 3/day – see invisibility, and cure light wounds; 1/day – holy aura. These abilities are as the spells cast by a 10th-level sorcerer (save DC 14+spell level).
Emotion (Su): While in star form, a stellar deva can shine in such a way as to cause emotion as cast by a 12th-level sorcerer, 10 feet, Will negates DC 15.
Focusing Rods: Stellar devas can focus positive energy through magical crystal rods, stunning living beings and causing potentially monstrous damage to evil beings and the undead. The beam can be fired once per round to a distance of 60 feet.
Stun (Ex): Any non-evil living being struck by the rod's focused beam must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 15) or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
Positive Energy Bolt (Ex): The beam deals 2d10 damage in positive energy to any evil or undead creature it strikes. Stellar devas may choose to simply stun evil living beings (Fortitude save DC 15) but the beam always damages the undead.
Celestial Qualities: Protective aura, tongues, fire resistance 20, electricity, cold, acid, and petrification immunity, +4 save against poison, lowlight vision, darkvision 60 ft. (as all outsiders have)
Alternate Form: A stellar deva can shift between its human and star forms as a standard action. In human form, it cannot fly or use its light rays, but it can make use of it positive energy rod and spell-like abilities, and make physical attacks. In star form, it can fly and use it light rays and spell-like abilities, but not its rod or other melee attacks.
A stellar deva stays in one form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, nor does the celestial revert to any particular form when killed. A true seeing spell, however, reveals both forms simultaneously.
All stellar devas from a given plane serve an absolute matriarchy headed by the Ruling Emprix. Within any given stellar deva society, it is possible that the sitting Emprix is advised by another of her kind the Waning Emprix, who is usually her mother and the most powerful of the group. She may also be rearing her heir, the Emprix Ascendant -- a less developed deva, but nevertheless a being of grace and power.
An Emprix looks like most starkin, though slightly more attractive (if possible) and radiating dignity and power. Most Emprixes are blessed with the stellar deva's silver hair and the most luminous of eyes.
Like her fellow stellar devas, the Emprix speaks Celestial, Infernal, Draconic and Vrill.
The Emprix excels at battle just as do those she rules. The only difference in combat is her improved bonuses, her +2 great sun mace, her ability to focus positive energy without a focusing rod, and her increased selection of abilities.
Light Ray (Ex): An Emprix's light rays (usable only in its star form) have a range of 60 feet.
Spell-like Abillities: At will – aid, continual flame, flare, cure light wounds, detect magic, dispel magic, holy aura, daylight, remove disease and remove fear. These abilities are as the spells cast by a 12th-level sorcerer (save DC 15+spell level).
The following abilities are always active on the Emprix's person, as the spells cast by a 15th-level sorcerer: detect evil, detect chaos, see invisibility, and true seeing. They can be dispelled, but the Emprix can reactivate them as a free action.
Additionally, the Emprix has the following enchantments available to her each round. Whether in human or star form: at will – daze, charm person, suggestion, charm monster, confusion, emotion, 3/day – mass charm, 1/month – geas/quest. These are as the spells cast by a 17th-level sorcerer (save DC 15+spell level).
Positive Energy Focus (Ex): Like other stellar devas, an Emprix can channel and focus positive energy although she does not required any tool to do so. The Emprix can use this ability as a ranged attack up to 60 feet or a touch attack (see above for attack bonuses). She can make only once such attack -- either by bolt or touch -- per round.
Stun (Ex): Any non-evil living being struck by the Emprix's energy must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 18) or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
Positive Energy Bolt (Ex): The beam deals 2d10 damage in positive energy to any evil or undead creature it strikes. The Emprix may choose to simply stun evil living beings (Fortitude save DC 18) but the beam always damages the undead.
Brand: A use unique to Emprixes is their ability to brand any non-evil, living beings with "The Sigil of Stars". To be successful the Emprix must actually touch the target being, who is allowed a Will save to resist being branded(DC18).
An Emprix may only brand one being at a time. Successfully branding a second being causes the brand on the first being to immediately fade away. The brand remains on the target until he or she has used up all it inherent powers. The Sigil of Stars appears as a crescent moon surrounded by eight stars. It glows softly, becoming visible only in darkness, underground, and at night, although a true seeing spell will reveal its presence in other circumstances. The Sigil of Stars' bearer can, at will, perform the following abilities as the spells cast by an 8th-level sorcerer: flare (Fort save at DC 15), light, disrupt undead, and protection from evil (Will save at DC 16). The bearer may also cast glitterdust, daylight or halt undead but each casting of these spells causes one of the Sigil's eight stars to vanish. Once all eight stars have been used, the Sigil dissipates and the bearer no longer has access to any of its beneifts.
Celestial Qualities: Protective aura, tongues, fire resistance 20, electricity, cold, acid, and petrification immunity, +4 save against poison, lowlight vision, darkvision 60 ft. (as do all outsiders).
Alternate Form: Exactly as other stellar deva.
About the Author
Robert Holzmeier has played D&D for more than 20 years. A lapsed player, he's glad to come back into the fold with the release of the new edition of the game. He contributed the new spell mirror move to our online Spellbookearlier this year, and his new adventure, The Vessel of Stars, is available online now!