Devourers are the husks creatures that have been shattered and remade by forces beyond the ends of the multiverse. The natural leaders of these horrid creatures, dread devourers are more vicious and voracious than ordinary devourers. Few know how these dread devourers originated, but some sages speculate that they form as “projections” of creatures from beyond the borders of reality.
Devourers and dread devourers take many forms, but most look mummified and desiccated. Their bodies are hardened to an astonishing degree, and they possess far greater strength and mental acuity than they had in life. The souls they consume are visible in miniature within and about their bodies, railing against their torturous imprisonment.
“Dread Devourer” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that has a chest cavity or similar body part. A dread devourer uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +3
Alignment: Any evil
Armor Class: The base creature's natural armor increases by +13.
Hit Dice: Change all of the base creature's racial HD to d8s.
Defensive Abilities: A dread devourer retains all of the defensive abilities of the base creature, SR 10 + dread devourer's total HD, channel resistance +4, and all of the immunities granted by the undead type. Additionally it gains the following.
If any of the following spells are cast at the devourer and overcome its spell resistance, they instead affect a trapped soul: banishment, chaos hammer, confusion, crushing despair, detect thoughts, dispel evil, dominate person, fear, geas/quest, holy word, hypnotism, imprisonment, magic jar, maze, suggestion, trap the soul, or any form of charm or compulsion. While none of these effects harms the soul, the caster makes a DC 25 caster level check when a spell is deflected—success indicates that the trapped soul is released from its prison, and the creature whose body it belonged to can now be restored to life as normal.
Attacks: The dread devourer gains a number of primary slam attacks equal to the base creature's number of hands/ limbs if it has no other natural attacks. The damage for these attacks depends on the base creature's size as if the base creature was one size category larger.
Additionally, the dread devourer gains a single touch attack with which it uses its devour soul ability (see below).
All of a dread devourer's attacks (both natural and manufactured weapons) count as evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. All natural attacks with the exception of the touch attack granted by this template gain energy drain (1 level). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Special Attacks: The dread devourer retains all the base creature's special attacks and gains those described here.
By making a touch attack as a standard action, a dread devourer can deal 12d6 + 1 point per caster level (caster level = total HD + 4 + 2 per soul trapped within it) points damage as if using a slay living spell. A DC Fortitude save reduces this damage to 3d6 + 1 point per caster level points damage. The soul of a creature slain by this attack becomes trapped within the dread devourer's chest. The creature cannot be brought back to life until the dread devourer's destruction (or a spell deflection— see above) releases its soul. A dread devourer can hold a number of souls equal to its HD. A trapped soul provides a dread devourer with 5 essence points for each Hit Die possessed by the soul. A dread devourer must expend essence points when it uses a spell-like ability equal to the spell's level (spell levels for its spell-like abilities are included as a superscript).
At the start of an encounter, a dread devourer usually has one soul and 3d4+3 essence points available. The trapped essence gains one permanent negative level for every 5 points of essence drained—these negative levels remain if the creature is brought back to life (but they do not stack with any negative levels imparted by being brought back to life). A soul that is completely consumed can only be restored to life by a miracle or wish. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Spell-like Abilities: The dread devourer can use the following spells at will by spending essence points (caster level = total HD + 4 + 2 per soul trapped within it): animate dead 4th, circle of death 6th, confusion 4th, control undead 7th, create undead 6th, deeper darkness 3rd, desecrate 2nd, dominate monster 9th, horrid wilting 8th, inflict serious wounds 3rd, lesser planar ally 4th, plane shift 7th (self only, costs five essence points), ray of enfeeblement 1st, true seeing 6th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Organization: Change to solitary