Soldiers in the name of good, angels directly serve the will of the greater forces of good in the universe. When working on the mortal planes, an angel sometimes finds the need to work incognito through a willing mortal, a vessel for its holy essence.
Angelic vessels are mortals who willingly allow an angel to inhabit them and take control of their physical form. While in the vessel, an angel gives up much of its power, but it often finds it can achieve greater good deeds walking the world within a mortal vessel than in its true form.
“Angelic Vessel” is an acquired template that can be added to any living non-evil creature that does not have the outsider or undead type. Additionally, the creature must agree of their own free will to the angelic possession of its body (hereafter referred to as the base creature). The creature retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: An angelic vessel’s challenge rating increases depending on the inhabiting angel, as stated on Table 2-6.
Alignment: Any non-evil.
Defensive Abilities: An angelic vessel gains a +4 sacred bonus on saves vs. poison and petrification; acid and cold resistance 20, DR 5/evil; and a spell resistance equal to 11 + the base creature’s total HD.
Weaknesses: An angelic vessel gains the following weakness.
Certain powerful spells have special additional effects against angelic vessels.
An angelic vessel subjected to a dismissal or dispel good spell must succeed on a Will saving throw or lose all modification bestowed by this template for a number of rounds equal to the opponent’s caster level.
An angelic vessel subjected to a banishment spell must succeed as on a Will save or lose the template. A banished angel does not leave its vessel with a dying burst (see below), but rather the angel is sent back to its plane of origin. The angel cannot attempt to inhabit the same creature for a year and a day.
The angelic vessel gets a +4 sacred bonus on these saves.
Attacks: An angelic vessel has the weapon proficiencies of both the base creature and the angel (angels are usually proficient with all simple and martial weapons).
Special Attacks: An angelic vessel gains the following special attacks.
If an angelic vessel dies, the angel within it is released in a burst of holy light as it returns to its home plane. The light is identical to the effects of a holy word spell but with a range of 60 feet. The angel is considered as being on their home plane for this effect, and thus banishes all nongood extraplanar creatures within range of the dying burst. The caster level for the dying burst is equal to the caster level of the specific angel. The save DC is Charisma-based, using the vessel’s total Hit Dice.
Each of an angelic vessel’s melee attacks with a natural or manufactured weapon deals +2d6 (+1d6 for a cassisian angelic vessel) points of extra damage to a creature of evil alignment. All of its natural and manufactured weapons are treated as magic and good-aligned for overcoming damage reduction.
As a swift action an angelic vessel can make a smite attack vs. an evil creature. The angelic vessel adds its Charisma modifier (if any) to its attack and damage. This damage is doubled if the foe has the evil subtype.
If the creature struck is an evil outsider, or is possessed or inhabited by an evil creature (such as having the demon-possessed template), the smite acts as a banishment spell (CL equals the angelic vessel’s total HD). A sacred smite must be declared before an attack. If the angelic vessel misses on its attack, it uses up that use of sacred smite for the day. An angelic vessel can use sacred smite 1 + 1/5 HD times per day.
Spell-like Abilities: All angelic vessels, except a cassisian angelic vessel, gain detect evil and cure light wounds as spell-like abilities usable at will. A cassisian vessel only gains detect evil at will. Additionally, an angelic vessel gains further spell-like abilities, depending on the kind of angel inhabiting it. The creature uses its total Hit Dice or caster level, whichever is higher, as the caster level for its spell-like abilities. Save DCs are based on the vessel’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, whichever is highest.
Skills: An angelic vessel does not gain additional skill points from the application of this template but does possess all racial skill bonuses of both the base creature and the angel. Additionally, the vessel gains the number of ranks the angel has in its Craft and Knowledge skills as a competence bonus to those same skills. Any Knowledge or Craft skills that are class skills for the angel are also class skills for the vessel and can be used untrained by the vessel.
Feats: An angelic vessel gains all of the angel’s non-combat feats (including weapon and armor proficiencies) including those granted by any classes the angel possesses as bonus feats if the vessel satisfies the feat’s prerequisites (if any). This includes those that grant bonuses to saves, but does not include feats that improve physical ability scores (Str, Dex, and Con) or hit points (such as Toughness).
Languages: An angelic vessel can speak all of the languages known by both the base creature and angel and gains the truespeech ability.
Special Qualities: An angelic vessel gains the following.
An angelic vessel is inhabited by a specific angel. The angel is in full physical and mental control of the vessel. While in control, the angel and base creature are in constant two-way telepathic communication, and it often consults with the vessel’s mind to gain information or keep the vessel placated.
An angel can release its control over the vessel at will whereupon the base creature assumes control. The angel, however, can reassert control at any time. The vessel can attempt to resist this via a Will save vs. as DC of 20 plus the inhabiting angel’s Charisma or Wisdom modifier (whichever is higher). If successful, the vessel remains in control for a number of rounds equal the amount the roll exceeded the DC (minimum 1). After this time, the angel tries to assert control again.
While in its vessel, the angel cannot cast its spells, and it does not have access to any of its supernatural, spell-like, or extraordinary abilities—other than those granted by this template. While it cannot cast its own spells, an angel can use any spells known by the vessel if the vessel is capable of casting spells. If the vessel’s spellcasting is from a divine source that opposes or is not aligned with the forces the angel serves, the vessel loses the ability to cast those spells while it is inhabited. The inhabiting angel cannot be directly 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 vessel does not harm the inhabiting angel. If the vessel dies, the angel is released in a burst of holy light as it returns to its plane of origin (see Dying Burst).
The angel can exit its vessel at any time as a standard action. When it does so, it appears in the nearest available open space. The vessel is stunned for 1d6 rounds after the angel exits and loses all features of the template until the angel rejoins the vessel. The angel can reenter its vessel as a standard action as long they are within 10 feet of each other and without the need for the base creature’s permission. If the angel and vessel are separated for more than a day, the base creature loses the template but may become a vessel again to the same angel without any delay.
Due to the cassisian angel’s perfect memory ability, a cassisian angelic vessel can gain a +10 bonus any Intelligence-based skill or check while taking 10, cast any spell that has already been cast by the vessel that day one more time, or perfectly recall any event the vessel has seen, heard or otherwise sensed that day. A cassisian angelic vessel can use this ability a number of times per day equal to their Intelligence modifier (minimum 1/day). Only cassisian angelic vessels gain this ability.
The angelic vessel template is a twist on the usual template. Instead of a base creature gaining abilities of an angel, it is the reverse. The angel maintains its mental self but gains the physical abilities and limitations of its vessel, including reduction of its supernatural abilities. Using the angelic vessel is a good way to introduce angelic influence in your game without having a full-blown angelic encounter.
The blending of the angelic and the mortal can make interesting NPcs for your game but be careful when applying the template. Since the angelic vessel uses the angel’s mental ability scores and known non-combat-related feats, the inhabited creature potentially gains a large number of bonus feats and bonuses to skills an angelic vessel. This can become unbalancing, even with the listed CR adjustment. Consider all of these benefits when applying the template, and adjust the CR as needed if you feel the resultant creature is overpowered for the calculated CR.
|Astral Deva||+3||3/day—cure moderate wounds, remove curse, remove disease; 1/day—blade barrier|
|Monadic Deva||+3||3/day—cure serious wounds, remove curse, remove disease; 1/day—hold monster|
|Movanic Deva||+3||3/day—cure serious wounds, remove curse, remove disease; 1/day—holy aura|
|Planetar||+4||3/day—holy smite, lesser restoration, remove curse, remove disease; 1/day—power word stun, waves of fatigue; 1/week—mass charm monster|
|Solar||+5||3/day—lesser restoration, remove curse, remove disease, waves of fatigue 1/day—blade barrier, greater restoration, speak with dead 1/week—power word kill, power word stun; 1/month—wish (others only)|
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens