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(Shax, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

(Shax, from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In demonology, Malphas is a mighty Great President (a Prince to some authors) of Hell, having forty legions of demons under his command. He builds houses, high towers and strongholds, throws down the buildings of the enemies, can destroy the enemies' desires or thoughts (and/or make them known to the conjurer) and all what they have done, gives good familiars, and can bring quickly artificers together from all places of the world.

Malphas accepts willingly and kindly any sacrifice offered to him, but then he will deceive the conjurer.

He is depicted as a crow that after a while or under request changes shape into a man, and speaks with a hoarse voice.


The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks)

Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.
Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

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MALPHAS, Siege Master of Avernus
Duke of Hell
Large outsider (Devil, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Symbol A black siege engine encircled by orange flames on an inverted, red triangle
Wizard 20
Hit Dice 20d8 + 20d4 + 320 (560 hp)
Initiative +14
Speed 50 ft., Fly 90 ft. (good)
Armor Class 40 (-1 size, +3 armor, +10 Dexterity, +23 natural, +3 profane), touch 14, flat-footed 30
Base Attack/Grapple +30/+42
Attack War’s Tool +40 melee (1d8+11 + 2d6 (axiomatic) + 1d6 (fire) + 1d6 (cold)/x4 + 3d10 (fire) + 3d10 (cold); or claw +37 melee (2d8+8)
Full Attack War’s Tool +40/+35/+30/+25 melee (1d8+11 + 2d6 (axiomatic) + 1d6 (fire) + 1d6 (cold)/ x4 + 3d10 (fire) + 3d10 (cold); or 2 claws +37 melee (2d8+8) and 2 wings +32 melee (2d6+8) and beak +32 melee (4d6+4/19-20/x2 and 1 Constitution damage).
Space/ Reach 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks Call devils, Infernal Presence, Observe Flaw, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities Duke of Hell qualities, damage reduction 20/good and silver, Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to fire and poison, Knowledge of War, regeneration 8, resistance to acid 20 and cold 20, Siege Master, see in darkness, Spell Resistance 43, telepathy 500 ft.
Saves Fort +30, Ref +32, Will +29
Abilities Strength 27, Dexterity 30, Constitution 27, Intelligence 36, Wisdom 20, Charisma 26
Skills Appraise +13 (alchemical items +17, armor +17, metalwork +15, woodwork +17, shipping +15, weapons +17), Balance +12, Bluff +34, Climb +29, Concentration +39, Craft (alchemy) +39, Craft (armorsmithing) +29, Craft (blacksmithing) +39, Craft (carpentry) +39, Craft (shipmaking) +35, Craft (weaponsmithing) +39, Decipher Script +37, Diplomacy +12 (+18 with evil beings), Disable Device +29, Disguise +29 (+33 when acting in character), Hide +27, Intimidate +43 (+49 against evil beings), Jump +31, Knowledge (arcane) +47, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +47, Knowledge (nature) +15, Knowledge (the planes) +34, Knowledge (religion) +34, Listen +26, Move Silently +31, Search +34 (+38 for secret doors and passages), Spellcraft +50, Spot +26, Survival +5 (+7 on another plane, +7 while tracking), Tumble +33
Feats Cleave, Corrupt Spell-like Ability B , Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Diligent, Eschew Materials, Fly-by Attack, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Maximize Spell, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (power word stun), Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (Evocation).
Epic Feats Craft Epic Magic Arms And Armor, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation (Magic Arms and Armor), Epic Evil Brand B
Environment Avernus, First of the Nine Hells of Perdition
Organization Solitary or troupe (2 - 8 hamatulas)
Challenge Rating 31
Treasure Triple Standard plus War Engine, War's Tool, ring of spell turning, and +3 bracers of armor
Alignment Lawful Evil

Siege Master Malphas is the most cerebral and reserved of Avernus’ Dukes. Malphas is not a combatant and actively avoids combat situations, preferring to remain in his fief, which lies near the Bronze Citadel. However, this apparent pacifist among the War Masters of Avernus is nevertheless held - grudgingly - in high regard among his peers, and Bael himself values Malphas’ place in his Court. After all, it is due to Malphas that Avernus, and by extension Hell, continues to stand against the hordes of The Abyss since it is Malphas who has created and continues to create some of the most powerful weapons known in the Cosmos. Malphas has been a Duke of Hell longer than most can remember. He has served on the Courts of Tiamat, Astarte, and now Bael; as a result Malphas possesses a great deal of knowledge about not just his former and current masters, but about other and former Dukes of Hell as well. In the past, many feared that Malphas would use this information to blackmail them, but that is not Malphas’ way. Malphas is interested only in one thing: ending the Blood War. This desire is Malphas’ sole interest and thus, he has time for little else, particularly in-fighting.

Malphas believes that the Blood War is a waste of Hell's resources and a threat to the Reality’s ideals. He believes that it is also a waste of the power that could be gained if the Depths Below were united under one banner, that of Hell. Malphas believes that if he can create the ultimate weapon, one of such power that it could decimate the vast majority of demons, the war would stop and all would fall into its rightful place. Malphas believes that his aims are honorable; after all, the reason the War persists, the reason why outsiders stand opposed to Hell, is because they have the freedom to do so. If a weapon must be created to force them into subservience, so be it. Malphas would provide that weapon. And, with this weapon, no one - not even Asmodeus - would be able to stand against Malphas.

Malphas believes that his place is in the background crafting more and more weapons for the Legions of Hell. So great is his ability to create weapons in a short period of time that his skills are often sought after by the Dark Ministry, as well as by powers beyond Hell and the Blood War conflict. Malphas is always willing to do commissioned work so long as time permits and the pay is good, but he is always certain to make sure that whatever he creates benefits Hell in some way.

Among the Dukes of Avernus, Malphas is scorned but admired. They all know that it is due to his work that their armies continue to stand against The Abyss. Bael is extremely pleased with Malphas. Although he suspects his Duke’s ultimate goals, the Lord of the First doubts that it will ever be reached and so allows Malphas a great deal of freedom. Malphas is also popular with the Court of Dispater. Indeed, it is through Malphas that any communication occurs between Bael and Dispater, as the Arch-Duke of Dis believes that he could make a tidy profit by selling Malphas’ creations to mortals in the Mortal Coil. Numerous doomsday devices across the Cosmos, some of which achieved their ultimate use, can be traced back to a merchant from Dis who herself bought it from Malphas.

Malphas has the general build of a pit fiend, although he lacks a tail and, rather than covered in scales, his translucent body is dressed in charred, red feathers. Great vulture-like wings spread from his back and his head is very similar to that of a horned, diabolical crow’s. Malphas always wears numerous, but mundane, belts and straps and often talks to himself. He never looks a person directly in the face with both eyes, preferring to peer at those with whom he interacts with one eye, much like the crows he favors. Malphas speaks in a surprisingly quiet voice, although on the rare occasions in which he is driven to anger, he has been known to shriek horribly.


Malphas is something of an aberration among the Courtiers of the First Perdition in that he does not enjoy direct confrontation or combat. Malphas believes that his skills are too singular, and his desires too important, to risk become gravely injured, captured, or killed by enemy forces. As a result, Malphas always travels with a troupe of hamatulas and will almost always teleport away at the first sign of danger.

If Malphas finds that he is forced to fight, he will immediately call on his Infernal Presence - hoping to drive his antagonizers away - before casting a meteor swarm centered on his person. In following rounds, he will likely call a couple of cornugons while his hamatu-las attack. Then, he will either try to teleport away or, barring that, he will begin to cast the highest-level magic at his disposal, starting with his wish if it is still available. Malphas will usually cast mage's disjunction (which he always has prepared) early in an engagement against powerful mortals, or else he will cast destruction against the likes of demons. If forced into melee combat, Malphas will usually surrender; if his appeal is ignored, he will charge into battle, surprising those who expected a simple kill with his ruthlessness.

Call Devils (Sp): Once per day, Malphas can automatically call 12 lemures, 8 barbazu or erinyes, 6 hamatulas or osyluths, 4 cornugons or gelugons, or 2 pit fiends. Since these devils are called rather than summoned, they have the ability to summon their own reinforcements if so ordered. Conversely, 3/day Malphas may summon 12 lemures, 8 barbazu or erinyes, 6 hamatulas or osyluths, 4 cornugons or gelugons, or 2 pit fiends. Malphas may either call or summon in a day; he may not do both. Although he believes that he is an integral part of Avernus' war-mongering hierarchy, Malphas believes that personal violence is beneath him. As a result, Malphas often calls in a couple of cornugons at the first sign of trouble and usually teleports away to sound an alarm.

Infernal Presence (Su): Malphas's Infernal Presence has a Will save DC of 28. His caster level is 39th .

Knowledge of War (Ex): To mortals, war is one of, the most destructive, heinous events in life. Even for those not on the front lines of a conflict, the price of war can be steep. Many powerful minds, from former artisans and engineers, to arcane and divine spellcasters, use their profound knowledge and skill to create weapons of great destruction and pain to promote the war effort for their side. These men and women, believing that their actions will expedite the end of hostilities, are often willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the success of their inventions. Many, for any number of reasons, eventually seek out Malphas, hoping that his knowledge and advice will help them create the ultimate weapon that, in the end, will also be the ultimate peace-keeper. The Siege Master is more than happy to grant some of his vast knowledge to such patriots, but as all things in Hell, this knowledge comes with a price.

Three times per day, Malphas may provide Knowledge of War. When Malphas is summoned, he is able to either impart a +9 bonus to the skills listed below, or he can allow a spellcaster with the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat to create such items as if he were three levels higher and at 1/3 the cost and time. These bonuses are permanent.

However, these boons are bought at a steep price. All other skills possessed by the victim suffer a -6 penalty. Furthermore, the client finds his ability to Craft all other kinds of magical items dulled; he crafts such items as if he were six levels lower in caster level and it takes double the cost and time to complete the work. If the client either takes up to three of these boons (gaining a +27 bonus to skills, +9 caster level to magical arms and armor creation, -18 penalty to all other skills, and -18 caster level to magical item creation), or if the client creates 9 items while benefiting from the bonuses, he becomes irrevocably Lawful Evil and his soul becomes the property of Malphas. The only way to over-come this effect is for the client to atone for his actions under the administration of a 21 st level cleric, thereby losing his bonuses; the penalties typically remain until the client successfully completes a quest dedicated to returning or preserving true peace. It is rumored that if the client willingly sacrifices himself with his own weapons that he will likewise cleanse his soul of Malphas. The following skills are those skills that a client of Malphas is able to increase by means of Knowledge of War:

- Craft (alchemy)

- Craft (armorsmithing)

- Craft (bowmaking)

- Craft (blacksmithing)

- Craft (weaponsmithing)

- Knowledge (Arcana)

- Knowledge (architecture and engineering)

Observe Flaws (Ex): As one of the best weapon makers in Creation, Malphas has made, if not improved, every weapon that has ever existed at one time or another. Thus, he knows every weapon and every piece of armor intimately, so much so that he can find flaws in arms that many others would consider to be the best there is. Malphas may Observe Flaws in armor and weapons of any kind so long as he studies them for at least three rounds as a standard action; he may do nothing else other than move while Observing. Malphas must select one entity and decide to Observe either his armor or his weapon. Once the three rounds have passed, Malphas receives a +3 bonus to his armor class against any weapon (excluding natural weapons); Malphas may also impose a 27% chance that weapons that strike his person shatter. Against armor, Malphas gains a +3 bonus to by-pass the armor bonus. In any case, Malphas maintains the bonuses for three rounds.

Malphas may opt to Observe for a longer period of time. If he Observes for six rounds, the bonuses and duration double; if he Observes for nine rounds, the bo-nuses and duration triple.

Magical weapons and armor seem to acquire no special defense against Observe Flaws, although magic weapons (including artifacts) only suffer a 10% chance of being destroyed.

Siege Master (Su): As the Siege Master of Avernus, Malphas is known for the creation of incredibly powerful siege engines in addition to other terrible weapons of war. Malphas may call on his power as Siege Master to create especially powerful weapons in a shorter period of time and with less cost.

Malphas is capable of producing items at a much faster rate than normal. His Craft checks to determine progress per day are done in silver pieces rather than copper, and his Craft checks per week are done in gold pieces rather than silver.

When crafting any magic armor or weapon, Malphas crafts the items at an accelerated rate. He may Craft such items at a rate of 30,000 gp per day. Additionally, any magical weapon designed by Malphas automatically possesses the demon-bane enhancement; this does not increase the cost of creation.

Once a year, Malphas may create a weapon that accomplishes one of three things:

1. Ignores Hardness;

2. Ignores Damage Reduction;

3. Deals maximum damage.

Unfortunately for Malphas and Avernus, whenever he creates any weapon benefiting from one of the above three benefits, he loses the ability to cast spells or spell-like abilities for one year as he is psychically drained. Furthermore, although these weapons are considered epic and evil for the purpose of overcoming DR, no other enhancement may be applied to them.

Finally, Malphas has the ability to cannibalize magic items to harvest the power held within. The process requires 1 day per 300,000 gp of the item, at the end of which Malphas can add a number of points to his item creation XP pool equal to one-half the XP required to create the item. For instance, if Malphas cannibalizes a +5 longsword (which costs 2,000 XP to create) he adds 1,000 points to his pool. A charged item that is not fully charged only contributes a proportional amount of XP.

Spell-like Abilities: At will - animate dead, blasphemy, charm monster, create undead, deeper darkness, desecrate, detect good, Detect Magic, fireball, flame strike, greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, greater teleport (self plus 1,000 pounds), magic circle against good, mass hold monster, mirage arcana, persistent image, polymorph, power word stun, produce flame, pyrotechnics, suggestion, unhallow, unholy aura, wall of fire;

3/day - destruction;

1/day - meteor swarm (any), symbol of pain;

1/week - wish.

Caster level 39 th ; DC 18 + spell level.

Wizard Spells per day: 4/8/7/7/7/7/6/6/6/6; base DC 23 + spell level, 24 + spell level for Evocation. Caster level 40 th . As a Duke of Hell, Malphas has access to every spell in the Player’s Handbook. Malphas tends to prefer utilitarian spells as he does not believe that it is worth his time to risk his life getting involved in combat of any kind.

Typical Wizard Spells prepared: 0 - arcane mark, mending, prestidigitation, read magic;

1st - alarm, shield, comprehend languages, identify, magic aura, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, unseen servant;

2nd - Arcane Lock, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, Gust of wind, knock, Misdirection, obscure object;

3rd - arcane sight, haste, nondetection, protection from energy, sepia snake sigil, tongues, Wind Wall;

4th - Black Tentacles, Contagion, scrying, shadow conjuration x2, stoneshape, stoneskin;

5th - fabricate, major creation, permanency, sending, shadow evocation, telekinesis x2, Wall of Force;

6th - analyze dweomer, contingency, flesh to stone, globe of invulnerability, Legend Lore, true seeing;

7th - greater arcane sight, greater shadow conjuration, limited wish, mage's sword, project image, teleport object;

8th - dimensional lock, discern location, greater shadow evocation, polar ray, screen, Temporal Stasis;

9th - mage's disjunction, Prismatic sphere, shades, shapechange, time stop, wish.

War Engine: Deep within the confines of Malphas’ fortress in Avernus lies his War Engine, a vast pool of energy he created millennia ago that stores vast amounts of pure, infernal energy. Once a week, Malphas can draw up to 3,000 experience points for the purpose of Crafting Magic Arms and Armor. Malphas may draw on this power from anywhere in Hell and even across planar boundaries.


War's Tool, ring of spell turning, and +3 bracers of armor. As the Siege Master of Avernus, Malphas has access to every weapon and armor available in the Dungeon Master's Guide, as well as quite a few not listed therein. However, since Malphas prefers not to use weapons in combat, he rarely finds cause to look for weapons or armor. Instead, Malphas is more likely to use powerful rods or staves to augment his already impressive arcane power.

Summoning Malphas

Malphas will accept as a sacrifice a portion of the life energy of the participants of the ritual (in the form of XP). A minimum amount of 500 XP must be contributed (split equally between each participant), which flows directly into Malphas XP pool for the development of magic arms and armor. Alternatively, magic weapons and armor to the value of 2,500gp can be sacrificed; in such a case, the arms and armor are consumed during the casting, and cannibalized for their XP energy as described in Malphas’ Siege Master ability.

Upon the correct pronunciation of the final incantation, the sound of hammers on anvils begins. Lines of fire erupt in the air, quickly tracing out complex designs of war engines and weapons of mass destruction. In the midst of these designs, fiery tracery of the crow-headed form of Malphas take shape. The fiery lines, once finished the outline of the Siege Master, proceeds to flesh him out entirely, until he stands before his summoners. Malphas comes across as very approachable, and gets down to business straight away. He has little time for questions, only time for decisions on what is wanted and what will be paid for it. If he suspects that the summon-ers have powerful items dedicated to goodness or freedom, he will often appear to think heavily after each time his summoners’ speak; in reality, he is using his Observe Flaws ability in case he has need to destroy the item(s) in question.

Once the summoners have done treating with the Siege Master (or the duration of the summoning has passes), Malphas explodes in sulphurous flame, appear-ing to disintegrate in the midst thereof. The sound of hammers on anvils continues for three minutes before fading.


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