Tactics and Tips
Know Your Enemy (Part 14)
By Eric Cagle

Lore for Horned Devils, Ice Devils, and Imps

Monster Manual IV introduced a sidebar that has since become the norm when new monsters are provided: the Knowledge check. This handy item takes the guesswork out of what a character (as opposed to the player) knows about a given creature and rewards those characters with ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skill. Over the course of the next few installments, we'll provide Knowledge check results for a variety of monsters, starting with some of the most iconic that lack this sidebar.

In our ongoing support for all of the devilishly neat stuff you'll find in Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, we're continuing our exploration into the lore of devils. This time we take a look at horned devils, ice devils, and imps.

Horned Devils (Cornugon)

Horned devils serve as the elite warriors of the Nine Hells. They relish wading into combat and are far from subtle. If adventurers encounter one of these ferocious creatures, they should know that they are in for a serious fight. Horned devils rank slightly below pit fiends in power and position -- few accept this slight for what it is and take great umbrage on anyone that reminds them of their status.

Horned Devil Lore

A Peek Behind the Rules Curtain

So how do designers determine the Difficulty Class for Knowledge checks about creatures? The following is excerpted from Monster Manual IV:

The description of the Knowledge skill indicates that in general, the baseline DC of checks to identify monsters and remember one bit of useful information about their special powers or vulnerabilities is equal to 10 + the monster's HD. Every 5 points by which the check result exceeds the DC yields another useful piece of information (PH 78).

As a general rule of thumb, a DC 15 check or higher will reveal all of the base creature's type and subtype traits as defined in the glossary. This often includes information about energy resistance or various immunities. For instance, a DC 15 Knowledge (arcana) check reveals that dragons have high hit points (12-sided HD), all good saves, and have darkvision out to 60 feet and low-light vision. They eat, sleep, and breathe.

Information specific to the creature, such as its type of damage resistance, spell-like abilities, or immunities come with the high DC check results.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can learn more about horned devils. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (The Planes)

DC Result

20 Horned devils serve as the Nine Hells' elite defense force and are feared by almost every other devil. This reveals all outsider and baatezu traits.

25 They have damage reduction 10/good and silver, are immune to fire and poison, are resistant to acid and cold, have superior spell resistance, and can regenerate. A horned devil's natural weapons as well as any weapons it wields are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

30 Horned devils can produce an aura of fear, as the spell. The damage dealt by their spiked chains can stun opponents. In addition, the wounds caused by the horned devil's tail attack create a persistent injury that cannot heal naturally and resists healing spells. Once per day, horned devils can attempt to summon several lemures, bearded devils, barbed devils, or a single horned devil, with variable levels of success.

35 Horned devils can use the following spell-like abilities: dispel chaos, dispel good, fireball, lightning bolt, greater teleport, magic circle against good, and persistent image.

Ice Devils (Gelugon)

Ice devils serve as the commanders of the forces of the Nine Hells, preferring to stay far behind the battle and guide their minions to victory. However, ice devils are shrewd tacticians and utterly vicious in melee.

Ice Devil Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can learn more about ice devils. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (The Planes)

DC Result

19 Ice devils serve as the commanders of the Nine Hells, and they display their savage brutality when they are found without their soldiers and minions. This reveals all outsider and baatezu traits.

24 They have damage reduction 10/good, are immune to fire and poison, possess superior spell resistance, are resistant to both acid and cold, and can regenerate. An ice devil's natural weapons as well as any weapons it wields are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

29 A hit from an ice devil's tail or spear causes a slow effect as though by the spell. Once per day, they can attempt to summon several lemures, bone devils, or bearded devils, or they can summon another ice devil. Ice devils radiate an area of fear, as the spell.

34 Ice devils can use the following spell-like abilities: cone of cold, fly, greater teleport, ice storm, persistent image, unholy aura, and wall of ice.

Imps

Imps are one of the few devils that adventurers may encounter outside the Nine Hells. These insidious outsiders commonly serve as advisors and familiars for mortal spellcasters, but they can sometimes be found operating independently, following the orders of some superior devil. Imps are craven, if sneaky, fighters, preferring to fight only when they have the advantage.

Imp Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can learn more about imps. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (The Planes)

DC Result

15 Imps are craven, obsequious devils that often serve as familiars to mortal spellcasters. This reveals all outsider and baatezu traits.

20 They have damage reduction 5/good or silver, fast healing, immunity to poison, and resistance to fire. An imp's natural weapons as well as any weapons it wields are treated as evil-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

25 Imps possess stingers filled with poison that causes Dexterity damage. Imps can assume other alternate forms, typically that of a monstrous spider, raven, rat, or boar.

30 Imps can use the following spell-like abilities: detect good, detect magic, invisibility, and suggestion.

Game Resources: To use the material in this article to its fullest, check out the following resources: Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, and Player's Handbook.

About the Author

Eric Cagle cut his teeth at Wizards of the Coast, but now lives the extravagant freelancer lifestyle. Look for his name on D&D, d20 Modern, and Star Wars books. Recent credits include d20 Apocalypse, Monster Manual IV, and the Tome of Corruption from Green Ronin Publishing. He is also a contributor to the Game Mechanics, Dragon Magazine, and this lovely website. Eric lives in Seattle where the coffee is dark and bitter like his goddesses.


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