Bestiary‎ > ‎(Bestiary) By Type‎ > ‎Templates‎ > ‎

Demon-Possessed Creature (CR +Special)

Publisher's Choice Quality Stock Art (c) Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games

No evil is as terrible as one having the outward form of goodness. Demons can cavort in the skins of mortal creatures and cause havoc while disguised by the flesh of virtue. While in the guise of a mortal, a demon can convert the weak-willed to evil and provide power and counsel to other mortal pawns while gleefully using the mortal body as a shield against attack.

A demon’s presence can have a variety of physical effects on the mortal creature it possesses. Glowing eyes, bristly hair, warts, boils, scars, long nails, and twisted limbs can all be signs of demon possession, as can more obvious characteristics, such as bulging muscles and flaming-red skin. Many demon-possessed creatures, however, show no outward sign at all.

Demons possess mortal creatures for countless reasons, and their chaotic nature makes patterns of behavior difficult to determine. They enjoy corrupting goodness and helping evil creatures, but many also use possession to hide from pursuit or to acquire protection. For example, a demon in combat might possess a foe to make itself a difficult target for the other members of the group.

Creating a Demon-Possessed Creature

Using the Demon-Possessed Creature Template

One of the easiest ways to adopt and use this template is to give demons the ability to possess other creatures. This ability should not change the creature’s CR, but it can make any encounter with demons more interesting. A creature possessed by a demon during combat is likely to flee from its former companions rather than stay to fight, regardless of the demon’s wishes. Knowing the capabilities and power of their companions, few adventurers would willingly fight them alone.

Possess Creature (Su): Once per day per 2 Hit Dice, a demon can attempt to possess an intelligent, corporeal creature within 10 feet as a full-round action. The target creature must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 demon’s racial HD + demon’s Cha modifier). Success stuns the demon for 1 round; failure means the demon joins with the target. The demon’s body may vanish in a cloud of colored smoke that the target then inhales, or the demon’s body may seem to merge with that of the victim. In either case, the victim immediately gains the demon-possessed template.

“Demon-possessed creature” is an acquired template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature that falls prey to demon possession (referred to hereafter as the base creature). See Using the Demon-Possessed Creature Template

A demon-possessed creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: Size and type are unchanged, but the creature gains the chaotic and evil subtypes if the base creature did not already have them.

Special Attacks: A demon-possessed creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described here.

Demonic Attack: The exact demonic attacks bestowed depend on the kind of demon that infused the base creature with its power, as follows.


Sneak Attack (Ex): This ability works like the rogue’s sneak attack ability, dealing +2d6 points of extra damage on a successful sneak attack. This extra damage stacks with that from all other sources that grant the sneak attack ability.


Flaming Body (Su): When a balor-possessed creature is involved in a grapple, flames spring to life all over its body. Any creature grappling with it takes 2d6 points of fire damage per round that the grapple continues. Neither the balor-possessed creature nor its equipment takes damage from this effect.

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—fire storm, telekinesis. Caster level equals balor-possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma-based.


Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—web, magic circle against good, poison. Caster level equals bebelith-possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma based.


Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—scare, stinking cloud. Caster level equals dretch-possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma-based.


Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—chaos hammer, confusion, dispel magic. Caster level equals glabrezu possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma-based.


Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day—gaseous form. Caster level equals hezrou-possessed creature’s character level.


Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—align weapon, blade barrier, magic weapon. Caster level equals marilith-possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma based.


Smite (Su): Three times per day, a nalfeshnee possessed creature can cause a burst of unwholesome, multicolored light to explode from its body in a 60-foot radius. Every creature other than a demon in this area must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 nalfeshnee-possessed creature’s character level + nalfeshnee-possessed creature’s Cha modifier) or be dazed for 1d10 rounds. The nalfeshnee-possessed creature is immune to this effect.


Spell-Like Abilities: At will—detect good, detect magic; 2/day—invisibility. Caster level equals quasit-possessed creature’s character level.


Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a retriever-possessed creature must hit a creature of any size with a natural attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.


Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—charm monster, detect thoughts, suggestion. Caster level equals succubus possessed creature’s character level. The save DCs are Charisma-based.


Spell-Like Abilities: 2/ daymirror image; 1/day—heroism. Caster level equals vrock-possessed creature’s character level.

Profane (Su): Each of a demon-possessed creature’s melee attacks with a natural or manufactured weapon deals +1d6 points of extra damage to a creature of good alignment. All of its natural and manufactured weapons are treated as magic and evil-aligned for overcoming damage reduction.

Special Qualities: A demon-possessed creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described here.

Damage Reduction (Su): The demon-possessed creature gains damage reduction 10/cold iron.

Possessed (Su): Each demon-possessed creature is inhabited by a specific demon. The demon can neither control the possessed creature nor read its mind, and it perceives only what the possessed creature does. The possessed creature’s alignment changes to chaotic evil until the possession ends. The demon is in constant telepathic communication with the possessed creature, imparting its thoughts and desires regardless of language. To gain the possessed creature’s cooperation, the demon usually offers telepathic suggestions that it thinks a chaotic evil creature might find appealing. While possessing another creature, the demon does not have access to any of its supernatural, spell-like, or extraordinary abilities. It cannot cast spells or take purely mental actions beyond thinking and using Intelligence-based skills. It cannot be targeted by any spell or effect (except as described under spell vulnerability), but it can be detected normally by divination spells. Damage that harms the possessed creature does not harm the possessing demon. If the possessed creature dies, the demon appears in its square. The demon can exit the possessed creature at any time as a standard action. When it does so, it appears in the nearest available open space.

Poison Resistance (Ex): A demon-possessed creature gains a +2 resistance bonus on Fortitude saves against poison.

Resistance to Electricity (Ex): A demon-possessed creature has electricity resistance 20.

Spell Vulnerability (Ex): Certain powerful spells have special additional effects against demon-possessed creatures. These

spells must first overcome the demon’s spell resistance (if any) to have any effect. A demon-possessed creature subjected to a dispel chaos or dispel evil spell must succeed on a Will saving throw or lose all the modifications bestowed by the demon-possessed creature template for a number of rounds equal to the opponent’s caster level. The demon is immediately ejected from the possessed creature’s body and appears in the nearest open square. A demon-possessed creature subjected to a banishment spell must succeed on a Will saving throw or lose the template until again possessed by a demon. Failure returns the demon to its home plane, as noted in the spell description.

An antimagic field or any antimagic effect suppresses all the effects of the demon-possessed creature template. It also prevents the demon from communicating with the possessed creature, using its perceptions, and exiting its body (unless it dies) for as long as the demon-possessed creature remains in the antimagic area.

In addition, particular spells can affect the weaker demon kinds, as noted on the following table. In each case, when the spell indicated for that demon (or any demon of higher CR on the table) targets the demon-possessed creature, the demon is expelled as described for dismissal (above), assuming that the creature fails any associated saving throw and the spell penetrates the demon’s spell resistance. Spells cast by the possessed creature do not have this effect.

Demonic Quality: The exact demonic qualities bestowed depend on the kind of demon that infused the base creature with its power, as follows.


Protective Slime (Su): A slimy red jelly coats the babau-possessed creature’s skin. Any weapon that touches it takes 1d8 points of acid damage from the corrosive goo, and the weapon’s hardness does not reduce this damage. A magic weapon is entitled to a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 demon-possessed creature’s character level + demon-possessed creature’s Cha modifier) to negate this damage. A creature that strikes the babau-possessed creature with an unarmed attack or natural weapon is also subject to this damage but may attempt a Reflex save at the same DC to negate it.


See Invisibility (Su): A balor-possessed creature continuously sees invisible creatures and objects as though with the see invisibility spell (caster level 20th).

Spell Resistance (Su): A balor-possessed creature has spell resistance equal to 10 plus its character level.


Scent (Ex): A bebelith-possessed creature can detect approaching enemies and sniff out hidden foes by sense of smell alone.


True Seeing (Su): A glabrezu-possessed creature continuously sees as if with the true seeing spell (divine version; caster level 12th).


Resistances (Ex): A hezrou-possessed creature gains resistance 10 to cold and fire.


Spell Resistance (Su): A marilith-possessed creature has spell resistance equal to 10 plus its character level.


Detection (Su): A nalfeshnee-possessed creature continuously detects magic as if with the detect magic spell (caster level 12th) and automatically knows the alignment of any creature it looks at.


Fast Healing (Ex): A quasit-possessed creature gains fast healing 2.


Construct-like (Ex): A retriever-possessed creature has construct traits.


Tongues (Su): A succubus-possessed creature can speak and understand any spoken language. This ability does not grant it the ability to read these languages.


Resistances (Ex): A vrock-possessed creature has resistance 10 to acid, cold, and fire.

Abilities: A demon-possessed creature’s ability scores change from the base creature according to the kind of demon, as given in the following table.


Demon Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
Babau +4 +0 +4 +0 +0 +2
Balor +6 +0 +4 +6 +6 +2
Bebilith +6 +0 +4 +0 +0 +0
Dretch +0 +0 +0 -2* +0 +0
Glabrezu +6 +0 +4 +2 +2 +2
Hezrou +6 +0 +4 +0 +0 +0
Marilith +6 +2 +6 +4 +4 +2
Nalfeshnee +6 +0 +4 +6 +6 +2
Quasit +0 +4 +0 +0 +0 +0
Retriever +6 +0 +0 -6* +0 -6*
Succubus +0 +0 +0 +2 +0 +6
Vrock +4 +2 +4 +0 +0 +0
* Minimum 1.

Skills: A demon-possessed creature gains profane bonuses on certain skill checks according to the kind of demon possessing it. These profane bonuses are considered supernatural abilities that are constantly in effect.

Babau: A babau-possessed creature gains a +4 profane bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.

Balor: A balor-possessed creature gains a +4 profane bonus on Bluff and Perception checks.

Bebilith: A bebilith-possessed creature gains a +3 profane bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks.

Glabrezu: A glabrezu-possessed creature gains a +3 profane bonus on Concentration, and Perception.

Hezrou: A hezrou-possessed creature gains a +2 profane bonus on Perception and Spellcraft. It may use the Spellcraft skill untrained.

Marilith: A marilith-possessed creature gains a +3 profane bonus on Concentration, Perception, Sense Motive checks.

Nalfeshnee: A nalfeshnee-possessed creature gains a +2 profane bonus on Diplomacy, Perception, Sense Motive, and Spellcraft checks. It may use the Spellcraft skill untrained.

Quasit: A quasit-possessed creature gains a +2 profane bonus on Stealth checks.

Succubus: A succubus-possessed creature gains a +2 profane bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks.

Vrock: A vrock-possessed creature gains a +3 profane bonus on Concentration and Stealth checks.

Feats: Certain demons grant bonus feats to the creatures they possess, as follows. The demon-possessed creature gains the indicated bonus feats, assuming that it meets any prerequisites and the base creature does not already have them.

Balor: Cleave and Power Attack. If it already has those feats but does not have Great Cleave, it gains that feat instead.

Bebilith: Alertness.

Glabrezu: Power Attack. If it already has that feat but does not have Cleave, it gains that instead.

Hezrou: Blind-Fight.

Marilith: Multiattack and Two-Weapon Fighting.

Nalfeshnee: Cleave and Power Attack.

Succubus: Dodge.

Vrock: Power Attack.

Challenge Rating: The CR increases based on the possessing demon, as follows.

Challenge Rating

Demon CR Increase
Babau +1
Balor +2
Bebilith +1
Dretch +1
Glabrezu +2
Hezrou +1
Marilith +2
Nalfeshnee +1
Quasit +1
Retriever +1
Succubus +1
Vrock +1

Alignment: Always chaotic evil.

Level Adjustment: The level adjustment depends on the kind of demon, as follows: babau +3, balor +7, bebilith +4, dretch +2, glabrezu +6, hezrou +6, marilith +6, nalfeshnee +6, quasit +4, retriever +3, succubus +4, vrock +4.

Demon-Possessed Characters

A demon-possessed creature favors whichever class the base creature does. Th e ease of losing this template makes it difficult to play, even if a player wishes to play an evil character. If the GM allows a character to remain good or neutral despite the possessing demon, the possession should last an even shorter time.