Some lords come into power through vile deeds and become targets of powerful curses wreaked by people they wronged or powerful divine entities that demand retribution. These despicable creatures are transformed into brooding immortals known as cursed lords. Regardless of how they rose to rule over their lands, their dark domains are dangerous and haunted places.
A dread lord uses the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here. If the creature is imprisoned within its domain as the result of a powerful curse, it instead becomes a cursed lord.
Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 1.
Alignment: Any evil.
Senses: A dread lord gains darkvision 120 feet.
Weaknesses: A dread lord gains the following weakness.
A dread lord’s power is drawn directly from its domain, which has a radius of 5 miles per Hit Die of the dread lord, centered on a fixed point of some significance to the dread lord. The dread lord loses all benefits of this template when not within its domain.
Special Attacks: A dread lord gains several special attacks. For every 3 Hit Dice the dread lord has, it chooses a special attack from those listed below. Unless otherwise noted, the saving throw DCs for these abilities are equal to 10 + 1/2 the dread lord’s Hit Dice + its Charisma modifier.
Nothing happens in the dread lord’s realm without the dread lord becoming aware. It can use speak with animals, speak with plants, and stone tell as spell-like abilities each three times per day. If it has a CR of 5 or higher, it can use clairaudience/clairvoyance as a spell-like ability three times per day, and the spell’s range extends to any place in its domain.
The dread lord has dominion over even the dreams of its subjects. It can use dream and nightmare as spell-like abilities, each once per day, but targeting only creatures within its domain. If it has a CR of 9 or higher, then once per week it can attempt to gain control of a creature whose dreams it affects in this way. If the target fails a secondary Will saving throw, the dread lord enslaves it, as per dominate monster, in addition to the dream or nightmare spell-like ability’s normal effects.
The dread lord is terrifying to behold. Any creature within a 60-foot radius that sees or hears the dread lord must succeed at a Will save or be shaken for as long as it is within the aura, and for 1 minute thereafter. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same dread lord’s fear aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
The dread lord draws magical power from its domain. It treats its caster level as 2 higher for the purposes of spells and spell-like abilities it casts, and the saving throw DCs of such spells and spell-like abilities increase by 1.
The dread lord’s control over its lands extends to the very plants. It can use entangle as a spell-like ability at will, and plant growth as a spell-like ability once per day. If it has a CR of 5 or higher, it can use tree stride as a spell-like ability at will. If it has a CR of 10 or higher, it can use liveoak as a spell-like ability once per day.
The dread lord’s subjects naturally bend to its will. It can use charm animal, charm person, and detect thoughts as spell-like abilities at will. If it has a CR of 10 or higher, it can use dominate animal, dominate person, and mass suggestion as spell-like abilities three times per day.
Special Qualities: A dread lord gains the following special ability.
A dread lord can shape the hazardous landscapes formed as a consequence of its domain’s creation to its will. It can replace any normal or supernatural hazard present in its domain with another hazard, but the process takes 24 hours, during which time neither hazard functions. The combined CR of all hazards found within a lord’s domain (that is, the CR of a hypothetical encounter with all of the hazards at once) can’t exceed twice its Hit Dice, and it cannot create any hazards whose CR exceeds its own. A dread lord’s affinity with the land grants it a +2 bonus on all Will saves.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Horror Adventures © 2016, Paizo Inc.; Authors: John Bennett, Clinton J. Boomer, Logan Bonner, Robert Brookes, Jason Bulmahn, Ross Byers, Jim Groves, Steven Helt, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Brandon Hodge, Mikko Kallio, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Alistair Rigg, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, F. Wesley Schneider, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.