Diabolist

To Prestige Classes

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before 1910 before 1910
Book of Vile Darkness 3.5
By Monte Cook

The diabolist is one who has thrown in her lot with the forces of hell. Unlike the disciples of Asmodeus or other archdevils, the diabolist is not a servant of a specific powerful fiend, but instead is usually a mortal being who has seen the dark path as a means to gaining great power. She does not serve devils—she wants to be one.

Diabolists are usually wizards, but sorcerers, clerics, and sometimes bards seek such devilry. Diabolists usually develop a particular hatred for paladins and bland contempt for nonspellcasters.

Diabolists are often loners, but they occasionally work in sinister cabals. They usually seek political power as well as magical power. Diabolists often use their dire power to intimidate and destroy their enemies. Because of their diabolism power, they are particularly skilled at dealing with good foes, and they focus their power on good-aligned characters when possible. It is common for a diabolist to have devils working with her, but it is just as likely to find her with legions of undead, well-paid mercenaries, or fanatical cultists.

Hit Die: d4.

Requirements

To qualify to become a diabolist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Lawful evil.
Base Save Bonus: Will +5.
Skills: Bluff 3 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks.
Feats: Evil Brand, Corrupt Spell.
Special: Must be able to cast shriveling.
Special: The character must offer her soul—but not necessarily her loyalty—to the forces of hell in exchange for power. When the diabolist dies (permanently), her soul becomes the possession of a powerful devil. The devil uses the soul as it sees fit.

CLASS SKILLS

The diabolist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Charisma), Concentration (Constitution), Diplomacy (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (arcana) (Intelligence), Knowledge (the planes) (Intelligence), Scry (Intelligence), Spellcraft (Intelligence), and Spot (Wisdom).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells Per Dayspells Known
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Diabolism +1d6 +1 level of existing class
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Imp familiar +1 level of existing class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3   +1 level of existing class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4   +1 level of existing class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Diabolism +2d6 +1 level of existing class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5   +1 level of existing class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5   +1 level of existing class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Vile diabolism +1 level of existing class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6   +1 level of existing class
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Diabolism +3d6 +1 level of existing class

Class Features

All the following are class features of the diabolist prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Diabolists are proficient with no weapons, armor, or shields.

Spells: When a diabolist attains 1st level, and at every level after that, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, hit points beyond those received from the prestige class, and so on), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. This essentially means that she adds the new level of diabolist to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. For example, if Lady Mandrake, a 9th-level sorcerer, gains a level in diabolist, she gains new spells as if she had risen to 10th level in sorcerer, but uses the other diabolist aspects of level progression such as base attack bonus and save bonuses. If she next gains a level of sorcerer, making her a 10th-level sorcerer/1st-level diabolist, she gains spells as if she had risen to 11th level as a sorcerer.

If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a diabolist, she must decide to which class she adds the level of diabolist.

Diabolism (Ex): A diabolist can choose to grant one of her spells greater magical power once per day plus one additional time for every three class levels. Any spell the diabolist casts that affects a target or area (one that does not include herself ) gains the evil descriptor and deals +1d6 points of unholy damage to any good character affected by the spell. For example, a fireball cast by a 6th-level wizard/1st-level diabolist deals 7d6 points of fire damage and 1d6 points of unholy damage. A hold person spell cast by the same diabolist holds a humanoid target motionless and deals 1d6 points of unholy damage if the target is good.

At 5th level, the unholy damage increases to +2d6 points.

At 10th level, the unholy damage increases to +3d6 points.

Imp Familiar (Ex): A 2nd-level diabolist gains an imp as a familiar, whether she wants it or not. If the diabolist already has a familiar, the imp devours it and takes its place. The imp is treated as a normal familiar, using the class level of the diabolist as the wizard’s level.

Vile Diabolism (Ex): An 8th-level diabolist can use her diabolism power to deal half the normal amount of extra unholy damage as vile damage. For example, a fireball cast by a 6th-level wizard/8th-level diabolist deals 10d6 points of fire damage and 2d6 points of unholy damage. If the diabolist then rolls a 7 for the 2d6 points of unholy damage, she can (if she chooses) convert the unholy damage into 3 points of vile damage instead.

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