When a creature is brought back to life, its soul, on the journey back from the afterlife, can attract one of the feared “soul-eaters,” a daemon, who can hitch a ride and splice itself onto that same soul. The newly revived creature acts mostly as it was, but is somehow a little off. It could be the way it moves, talks, or interacts with certain folks, but whatever it is, it is disturbing to those who knew the individual before his death. Otherwise, the individual appears normal but is, in fact, a true monster. Compelled by the daemon within, a daemon host seeks to kill in a manner aligned with the kind of daemon inhabiting it, even as it slowly withers and dies from the daemon’s influence. The worst serial killers, murderers, and other death dealers are typically daemon hosts.
“Daemon Host” is an acquired template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature does not have the outsider type or the elemental subtype and has died and been brought back to life (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Those naturally immune (not due to a spell-like ability or other spell effect) to magic jar, possession, or similar soul influencing magic cannot receive this template. The creature retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Alignment: Any evil.
Type: The base creature gains the evil subtype.
Senses: A daemon host gains darkvision +60 ft.
Weaknesses: A daemon host gains the following weakness:
|Astradaemon||3/day—fear, true seeing; 1/day—locate creature, energy drain; 3/day—air walk, invisibility||—||+2||—||+2||—||+2|
|Crucidaemon||1/day—hold monster; 3/day—fear, see invisibility||+2||—||+2||—||—||+2|
|Hydrodaemon||3/day—acid arrow, control water||+2||—||+2||—||—||+2|
|Maladaemon||3/day—blight, fear, waves of fatigue||+2||+2||—||+2||—||—|
|Olethrodaemon||3/day—telekinesis, unholy aura; 1/day—quickened disintegrate||+4 to one and +2 to any two ability scores. The bonuses may be applied to the same score.|
|Piscodaemon||3/day—see invisibility, stinking cloud||+2||—||+2||—||—||+2|
|Purrodaemon||1/day—chain lightning; 3/day—flame strike, true seeing||+2 to any three different ability scores|
|Thanadaemon||3/day— animate dead, true seeing||—||—||+2||+2||+2||—|
|Vulnudaemon||3/day—death knell, inflict critical wounds||— +2||—||—||+2||+2|
Daemons, being an anathema to life, constantly wear down the creatures they inhabit. A daemon host takes 1 hp drain (no save) each day. The hit point drain cannot be healed by rest or magic and is permanent until the daemon leaves the creature, or the daemon host dies. Upon a daemon host’s death its soul is devoured by the inhabiting daemon, who then returns to where it originated. After it dies, the base creature cannot be brought back to life except by wish, miracle, or true resurrection but again may be at risk of being a host for a daemon.
The hit point drain can be avoided for one day per sentient (creature with Int 3 or higher) killed in a manner associated with its daemon up to a maximum of the base creature’s Wisdom modifier (minimum number of days (see as given on Table 2-13).
Spell-like Abilities: A daemon host gains spell-like abilities, depending on the kind of daemon inhabiting it (see Table 2-14). The creature uses its Hit Dice or caster level, whichever is higher, as the caster level for its spell-like abilities. Save DCs are based on the creature’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, whichever is highest.
A daemon host acts as a living conduit for daemons to enter the world. Once a day the daemon host can use the summon universal ability. The daemon host can summon a number of daemons with total Hit Dice equal to or less than the host’s but not greater than the kind of daemon that it is hosting. No more than three daemons of the same type can be summoned at once. The summon level is equal to one-half of the host’s HD (maximum 9). The percent certainty of the summoning is 15% times the ability modifier (minimum 1) used for the save DCs of its other spell-like abilities (maximum 100%).
Abilities: A daemon host creature’s ability scores change from the base creature according to the kind of daemon it is hosting to as stated on Table 2-14.
Special Qualities: A daemon host gains the following.
|Daemon||Type of Death|
|Astradaemon||Energy drain or level drain|
|Crucidaemon||Torture or trap|
|Olethrodaemon||Apocalypse or natural disaster|
|Purrodaemon||Battle during warfare|
|Thanadaemon||Old age or aging effects|
The daemon and the base creature’s souls are intertwined. The daemon inhabiting a daemon host can be removed from the whispering man the base creature’s soul by casting a combination of dispel evil, protection from evil, and atonement on the creature in a hallowed area. The daemon itself gets a Will save (see the individual daemon’s description) vs. a DC of 15 + the caster’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is higher). If it fails, the daemon is separated from the creature’s soul are returns to its original plane. The base creature then dies, but can be brought back to life in the usual manner without gaining this template. A wish or miracle removes a daemon from its host without the daemon getting a save and keeps the host alive.
When a daemon host directly kills a sentient (a creature with an Int 3 or higher) in a manner associated with the daemon inhabiting it (see above), it heals 1d8 hp per creature killed (up to its maximum hit points).
The healing effect is applied each time the daemon host kills someone in the appropriate manner. This can either directly or setting up events to cause the death in their presence. For example, a leukodaemon-host can release plague rats in an area, or drop a diseased corpse in the local water supply and heal itself as it walks among the resultant dying. As long as at least one person dies from the disease from these sources, the creature does not take the hit point drain and is healed 1d8 hp.
A daemon host can only avoid the hit point drain for the day of the killing. In order not to be affected by the drain, it has to make at least one kill each day.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens