Archives of Nethys

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Archdevil

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 15
The greatest and most terrible of devils are the archdevils of Hell, powerful scions of law and evil, subtle and sophisticated demigods who each rule one of the eight vast planes of torment that form the layers of Hell. Each archdevil is a unique creature, and each fits into a specific role in the cosmic chain of corruption and oppression that devils use to bind the cosmos to their will. The first archdevils rose to power soon after their lord Asmodeus claimed Hell as his realm. Asmodeus has guided the rise of other archdevils, sometimes directly creating them as he did Belial and Mephistopheles. Others are older beings who pledged their allegiance to Asmodeus during heavenly rebellions, like Baalzebul and Dispater. Asmodeus has even been known, when in need of additional loyal viceroys, to grant archdevildom to creatures outside the diabolic race, as in the case of ascended mysteries like Barbatos and Geryon.

Below the ranks of true archdevils are Hell’s infernal dukes. These infernal nobles have the potential for power equal to some of the archdevils, but without a layer of Hell under their rule, they cannot truly be counted the equal of an archdevil. An infernal duke can rise in power by gaining class levels, advancing in Hit Dice, gaining mythic ranks, undertaking a vile ritual, amassing a sufficiently large and devoted following, or, rarely, at the leave of their blasphemous lords. However, until Asmodeus sees fit to award an infernal duke its own layer of Hell (to replace a fallen archdevil or one being punished via demotion to infernal duke), such a devil is not itself an archdevil. It should be noted that as scions of law, infernal dukes and archdevils remain loyal to Asmodeus and Hell, though they might resort to trickery and subterfuge to bolster their own resources and reputations. Those who are not loyal are quickly and inevitably revealed as traitors and punished accordingly by the Prince of Darkness. There can be any number of infernal dukes in Hell, but as Asmodeus himself rules the ninth layer of Hell, only eight archdevils can exist at any one time.

An archdevil can be contacted via commune or contact other plane, and can be conjured via a gate spell, but when so called, an archdevil is under no compulsion to come through the gate. Typically, an archdevil requires an enormous and significant offering or sacrifice before it deigns to answer a gate spell.

The Layers of Hell

Each archdevil rules one of the eight upper layers of Hell, with infernal dukes ruling fiefdoms within it. These layers are immense in size and composed of hundreds or even thousands of smaller subdomains, each of which may be the size of a continent or as small as a strange and secret city. The environments, themes, and traits of each layer are as unique as the archdevils themselves and can shift and change in response to the mood and intention of its archdevil master. An archdevil does not exert total control over its realm, though, and powerful adventurers can infiltrate a layer and accomplish various goals without arousing the anger of its archdevil overlord—if they are careful.

An archdevil gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities):
  • Mythic: An archdevil functions as a 10th-rank mythic creature, including having the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It can expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with a superscript “M,” as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will—demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to the realm, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day: binding and miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the archdevil’s area of concern).
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): An archdevil gains a +10 insight bonus on Sense Motive checks and Initiative checks.

Archdevils in a Campaign

Each archdevil is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Their CRs have no impact on their standing or influence in Hell’s hierarchy. Between raw power, ingenious contingencies, and legions of servants, Asmodeus’s deputies share roughly similar potential for nefariousness and ruin. In any case, archdevils are generally beyond the reach of most mortal heroes, and should not be placed in an adventure without careful consideration. In most cases, they are best used as the final enemies of a long campaign—especially campaigns in which the PCs themselves are mythic characters—and even getting an audience with one should be a memorable event.

Yet while archdevils are beyond the abilities of most heroes to combat directly, they are perfect puppet masters and masterminds, inspiring and directing monsters, mortals, and entire cults at every level of a campaign. Halting a sinister ritual to unleash an archdevil on the world is a classic capstone, allowing a brief encounter with the archdevil and its minions before the ritual is halted and the archdevil forced back to Hell. Alternatively, the heroes can work to destroy an archdevil’s resources, imposing increasing penalties on it and gathering potent weapons to use against it, allowing PCs to face the archdevil at a diminished CR or with negative levels (even though they are normally immune to negative levels) to represent its reduced power... until the archdevil can rebuild and recover its strength.

Creatures in "Archdevil" Category

NameCR
Baalzebul30
Barbatos26
Belial28
Dispater27
Geryon29
Mammon28
Mephistopheles30
Moloch29

Archdevil, Baalzebul

This swarm of droning black f lies teems in the semblance of a winged angel with glowing red eyes.

Baalzebul CR 30

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 16
XP 9,830,400
LE Large outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +14; Senses blindsight 120 ft., darkvision 60 ft., detect chaos, detect good, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +49
Aura frightful presence (120 ft., DC 39), shield of law (DC 30)

Defense

AC 48, touch 40, flat-footed 37 (+4 deflection, +10 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural, +16 profane, –1 size)
hp 717 (35d10+525); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +30, Ref +30, Will +36; +8 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities infernal resurrection, mind blank, swarm body, usurpation; DR 20/epic, good, and silver; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm, cold, compulsion, death effects, disease, energy drain, fire, petrification, poison; Resist acid 30; SR 41

Offense

Speed fly 120 ft. (perfect)
Melee +5 adamantine good-outsider-bane icy burst unholy longsword +53/+48/+43/+38 (2d6+24/17–20 plus 1d6 cold) or 2 slams +47 (8d6+13)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks biting blackflies, hellfrost, suffocating swarm
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 30th; concentration +42)
Constant—detect chaos, detect good, mind blank, shield of law (DC 30), true seeing
At will—astral projection, curse of disgust (DC 27), desecrateM, dictumM (DC 29), greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, greater teleport, icy prison (DC 27), insect plague, order’s wrathM (DC 26), unhallow
3/day—demand (DC 30), finger of deathM (DC 29), quickened freezing sphere, empowered cone of coldM, summon devils
1/day—mass suffocation (DC 31), time stopM, wishM
M Baalzebul can use this ability’s mythic version in his infernal realm.

Statistics

Str 36, Dex 30, Con 41, Int 35, Wis 32, Cha 35
Base Atk +35; CMB +49; CMD 90 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Dodge, Empower Spell- Like Ability (cone of cold), Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (longsword), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Lightning Stance, Mobility, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (freezing sphere), Shatter Defenses, Sickening Critical, Skill Focus (Bluff), Weapon Focus (longsword), Wind Stance
Skills Acrobatics +48, Bluff +56, Diplomacy +50, Disguise +50, Fly +54, Intimidate +50, Knowledge (arcana, history, local, nobility, religion) +47, Knowledge (planes) +50, Linguistics +50, Perception +49, Sense Motive +49, Spellcraft +47, Stealth +44, Use Magic Device +47
Languages all (language mastery); telepathy 300 ft.
SQ lord of the flies, swarm master

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (+5 adamantine good-outsider-bane icy burst unholy longsword, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Biting Blackflies (Ex) Baalzebul’s body consists of innumerable flies. The first time in a round a creature strikes him with a melee touch attack, natural attack, or unarmed strike, the creature is subjected to these flies’ savage stings and bites. The creature takes 7d6 points of damage and must succeed at a DC 42 Fortitude save or become nauseated with pain for 1 round. These biting flies cling tenaciously to the attacker for 1 round, dealing 7d6 points of damage on the attacker’s next turn (but not threatening nausea). Any damage from an area effect destroys clinging flies, though they share Baalzebul’s resistances and immunities, including spell resistance. If Baalzebul does not move more than 5 feet in a round, any creature that approaches or begins its turn within 10 feet of him is affected in the same way. Any number of targets can be affected in a round by the biting blackflies, but no more than once per round per target. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Hellfrost (Su) Half of any cold damage dealt by Baalzebul is unholy damage that is not reduced by cold resistance or cold immunity. Devils are immune to this unholy damage, but it is doubled against creatures with the good subtype.
Lord of the Flies (Su) Any creature flying under its own power (not by means of a magic item, spell, or spell-like ability) that tries to attack Baalzebul in melee must succeed at a DC 39 Will save or the attack fails and is wasted. In addition, if it fails the save, the attacker is so awed by Baalzebul’s majesty that it cannot look at him directly for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that succeed at the save are immune to this effect for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Suffocating Swarm (Su) Baalzebul can collapse into a swarm of flies or reform his body as a free action; when he is discorporated, his sword becomes part of the swarm and his Strength score becomes 1. Baalzebul functions as a true swarm of Fine creatures when discorporated, filling four squares as he chooses, and has a swarm attack that deals 7d6+26 points of damage. Any creature that fails at a DC 42 Fortitude save against his distraction attack is nauseated and begins suffocating, as a suffocation spell (CL 30th). If killed by this suffocation, the creature arises 1 minute later infested by a hellwasp swarm (a successful DC 42 Fortitude save immediately before death negates). The save DCs are Constitution-based.
Swarm Body (Ex) Baalzebul’s body is composed of millions of tiny flies. He can pass without difficulty through narrow holes, openings, and cracks as if in gaseous form. He has no discernible anatomy and is not subject to critical hits or flanking, and he takes only half damage from attacks dealing bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. If reduced below 0 hit points, he discorporates into a suffocating swarm (as above) and is staggered, but does not fall unconscious. Baalzebul is immune to any physical spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single target spells and rays) unless he chooses to target himself with such effects, though he is still subject to mind-affecting effects. He takes half again as much damage (+50%) from area effects, including splash weapons. Baalzebul is treated as a single Large creature for the purpose of wind effects.
Swarm Master (Su) Baalzebul is immune to swarm damage and swarm effects (such as distraction). As a swift action, he can direct the movement of any unintelligent swarm within 30 feet.
Usurpation (Su) When a creature within 30 feet targets itself with a spell or effect, as an immediate action Baalzebul can gain the same effects as the caster (including interacting normally with a caster using time stop). Baalzebul can have only one usurped spell effect at a time; copying a new effect causes him to forfeit any previously copied effect.

Description

Baalzebul was once the chief lieutenant of the Prince of Darkness. The glorious Hell’s Angel sought to rule at Asmodeus’s side, but he was greatly vexed at being relegated to stand alongside other archdevils. When he demanded a higher station, claiming he should rule over multitudes, the Lord of Hell annihilated his magnificent angelic form, replacing it with swarms of insects so he might rule over them in their millions as Lord of the Flies. Chastened, Baalzebul has brooded on vengeance ever since, harboring an insatiable urge to prove himself greatest among Hell’s lords. His knowledge and power are vast, but so are his caprice, ego, love of flattery, and tendency to lash out at any perceived slight.

Baalzebul resembles a 15-foot-tall armored angel and has a body composed of flies.

Baalzebul's Cult

Baalzebul’s cultists strive to accomplish triumphs of will in the fields of magic, politics, and beyond, no matter the cost. Once such a victory has been achieved, they gloat over those left behind. Baalzebul’s sacred places are always erected high above the surrounding cities or landscape, often in soaring towers and colossi, the better to literally and figuratively look down on those whose defeat awaits them at the hands of those bold and ruthless enough to will it.

Baalzebul’s unholy symbol is a broken black crown tipped at an angle, underneath a shining white diamond inside a broken white halo. Although he prefers the use of the longsword himself, his arrogance prevents him from sharing his favor of that weapon with his worshipers— instead, his favored weapon is the spear. He grants access to the Air, Death, Evil, and Law domains, and to the Devil, Murder, Undead, and Wind subdomains.