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Diabolist

Cackling with glee as the villagers fled from her terrifying servants, the tiefling commanded her ghoul and lemure to hold down the town’s priest. She drew forth her sickle. She grabbed him by the hair and savagely rent hair from scalp. Blood cascaded down his face, blinding him as he feebly shouted for the guards—this was only the beginning of the holy man’s torment, and only the beginning of the diabolist’s long road of corruption.

With an erotic wail, the succubus appeared before the merchant counting her coins in isolation. The beardless dwarf in the room below smiled as her alluring summons enticed her quarry. By the time the merchant’s bodyguards could react to her agonized screams, the dwarf and her abyssal servant were long gone.

Diabolists are not warlocks, groveling before supreme powers in exchange for their sorcerous table scraps. No, diabolists seek even greater power. Using their own souls as collateral, they weave intricate political webs, bargaining, trading, and lying their way to power with not just one supernatural horror, but many. Any and all dark arts are the purview of diabolists and there is no depth to which they will not sink as they seek to bind ever more powerful allies to their will. The deals one must strike in order to summon evil entities with a whim are dire indeed however, and the further a diabolist travels along the corrupted path, the more they imperil their immortal soul.

Forbidden Secrets

The path of the diabolist is rarely lauded or promoted within society and the very nature of their art requires one to have a taste for taboo knowledge.

Only the strong of will and spirit can endure the trials required to learn the secrets of diabolism, and though master summoners frequently take on many apprentices most of these deluded fools are merely pawns used for sacrifice. Devious, foul, and wily as they might be, diabolists are always keen to acquire relics, tokens of power, or forbidden lore whenever the opportunity arises and they can be trusted to do whatever they must in their relentless pursuits.

Unyielding Avarice

Greed inspires most diabolists to practice their dark conjurations, but they are never sated. The need for ever greater wealth and power drives them further into depravity. This cycle of damnation never ends, even after death. The cost of the contracts a diabolist draw to bind their fiends costs a diabolist dearly in the end; divine relics, great treasures, or the souls of the living must be sacrificed in order for a diabolist to forge even darker alliances still.

Creating a Diabolist

The first thing to decide when making a diabolist are the circumstances that led your character to seek out unholy alliances: are they destined to bring balance to the forces of good and evil, driven to do whatever they must to become rich, or tricked to stray into the depths of depravity? Have they any remorse for the horrendous acts they perform in exchange for power? While your diabolist is undoubtedly evil, is there any good still within the corruption overtaking their soul? Is your character a force of chaos that imposes their will on lawful servants, a slave master of chaotic entities, or devoted only to their goals and working with whatever allies they can conjure? Do they seek to inspire fear or attempt to blend in with the sheep of society? Perhaps most importantly, how do they plan to save their soul from the ultimate end of their bargains with the powerful creatures that act as their lackeys—or have they fallen too far to care?

Multiclassing

To qualify for new class levels as a diabolist, you must have Wisdom or Charisma 13 or better. You gain proficiency with simple weapons, ceremonial relics, and one skill from the class’s skill list.

Class Features

As a diabolist, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per diabolist level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per diabolist level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Ceremonial relics
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, and Religion.

Equipment

You start with with the following equipment, in addition to any gear acquired through your background.

  • (a) a dagger or (b) a sickle
  • a light crossbow and 20 bolts
  • (a) an arcane focus or (b) a holy symbol
  • (a) a priest’s pack or (b) a scholar’s pack
The Diabolist
LevelProficiency BonusConjuring PointsNecromantic TouchFeaturesCantrips Known
1st+211d8Spellcasting, Masterful Presence, Necromantic Touch3
2nd+221d8Corrupted Blood, Diabolic Strike3
3rd+221d8Summoning, Dark Path3
4th+231d8Ability Score Improvement3
5th+342d8Dark Psyche4
6th+342d8Rotting Familiar, Dark Path feature4
7th+352d8Banisher, Effigy4
8th+362d8Ability Score Improvement4
9th+463d8Dark Path feature4
10th+473d8Breathless, Diabolic Blood5
11th+483d8Expanded Mind5
12th+483d8Ability Score Improvement5
13th+594d8Scion of Evil5
14th+5104d8Diabolic Essence5
15th+5104d8Dark Path feature6
16th+5114d8Ability Score Improvement6
17th+6125d8Unbound Soul6
18th+6125d8Dark Path feature6
19th+6135d8Ability Score Improvement6
20th+6145d8Master of Evil6

Spellcasting

To make a deal with the devils, you have had to push your body and mind to the limit. The benefits of this have been many, and include the ability to cast simple spells.

Cantrips

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the cleric and wizard spell lists. You learn one additional cantrip at 5th level, 10th level, and 15th level.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your diabolist spells, since you draw your spells from a dark connection in your soul with things from the beyond.

You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a diabolist spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

  • Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
  • Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Conjuration

Your pacts with unholy patrons grants you powers beyond the ken of most mortals. By beseeching your patrons for favors, you can summon forth allies from the dark planes of the multiverse, or tap into their powers directly.

  • Conjuring Points. You have one conjuring point, and you gain more as you reach higher levels, as shown in the Conjuring Points column of the Diabolist table. You regain spent all conjuring points when you finish a long rest, minus those spent maintaining a bond with diaboli.
  • Summon Familiar. You may cast the find familiar spell by spending one conjuring point in addition to the usual spell components. This familiar must be a fiend.
  • Conjured Magic. You are able to cast any cleric or wizard spell with the ritual tag. You must cast this spell as a ritual, but you do not know these spells—instead you borrow them from the spirits bound to you. When you cast a ritual, you must spend a number of conjuring points equal to the spell’s level.

Masterful Presence

Your presence is so intense, creatures cannot help but flinch at the idea of invoking your wrath. While you are not wearing any armor or using a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Charisma modifier.

Necromantic Touch

Also at 1st level, the fell pacts you’ve made allow you manifest energy antithetical to life and revitalizing to the forces of evil. As an action, you may make a melee spell attack, dealing 1d8 necrotic damage to a living creature on a hit. When you target one of your diaboli with this ability, you restore the creature’s hit points instead. If you kill a living creature using your necromantic touch, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to the damage you dealt with the killing blow, even if the target did not have that many hit points remaining.

You may gain a maximum number of temporary hit points this way equal to twice your diabolist level.

At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level the damage you deal with your necromantic touch increases by 1d8.

Corrupted Blood

Beginning at 2nd level, you gain resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws to resist being poisoned.

Diabolic Strike

Also at 2nd level, your touch becomes anathema to life. When you hit a target with your necromantic touch, choose one of the following:

  • You do additional necrotic damage to the target equal to your Charisma modifier.
  • The target is blinded until the beginning of your next turn.
  • The target is deafened until the beginning of your next turn.

Summoning

Starting at 3rd level, you have amassed sufficient power and favor with the lower planes to pull creatures directly to the Material Plane, known collectively as diaboli. Summoning a diabolus is a ritual that takes 1 minute to complete, and expends a number of conjuring points determined by the diabolus you are summoning. Once the ritual is complete, the diabolus appears in an empty square within 30 feet of you that you can see.

The diabolus remains on the Material Plane until it is killed, or until you dismiss it as a bonus action. If the diabolus ever travels more than 500 feet from you, it takes 10 points of damage each round until it is destroyed or returns within 500 feet of you. So long as it remains bound to you, you do not recover the conjuring points spent summoning diaboli. Diaboli with the Innate Spellcasting feature can cast a number of spells equal to the conjuring points you spent to summon the diabolus, and can cast no further spells unless it is dismissed and resummoned, or somehow breaks free from your control. You may not have more than one diabolus summoned at a time.

Diaboli are friendly to you and your allies, follow your orders to the best of their ability, and will never intentionally attack you unless by your own orders— but possess free thought and a small degree free will, and may have their own motives at your GM’s discretion. Your diabolus acts on your initiative.

When you gain this feature, you have the ability to summon minor diaboli. Greater summons are granted to you through your Dark Path.

  • Minor Diaboli (1 conjuring point): cacodaemon (see Conjured Horrors) (CR ½), skeleton (CR ¼), zombie (CR ¼)

Dark Path

The pacts you have made thus far are with relatively minor creatures, but you have now drawn the attention of creatures of truly impressive power.

At 3rd level, you must choose to make a pact with either demons or with devils.

At 6th, 9th, 15th, and 18th level you learn to summon more creatures determined by your Dark Path.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Dark Psyche

Starting at 5th level, you gain telepathy to a range of 30 feet and darkvision 60 feet. When communicating with your diaboli using telepathy, the range of your telepathy increases to 60 feet.

Rotting Familiar

Beginning at 6th level, familiars you summon using your Conjuration feature may be undead, at your discretion. Undead familiars gain darkvision 60 ft., resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks, immunity to necrotic and poison damage, and immunity to the following conditions: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned.

Banisher

Starting at 7th level you can cast banishment or hallow (evil options only) by expending 2 conjuring points.

Effigy

Beginning at 7th level, you can see the souls of creatures, and the subtle impressions their spirits leave in the Ethereal Plane. As a ritual with a casting time of 1 hour, you can create an effigy bound to the soul of a creature you have seen within the past year. Whenever this effigy is within 100 feet of the target creature, it is considered to be the target creature when determining if you are able to see or touch the creature—allowing you to deliver spell effects or even use your Necromantic Touch against them from a distance. Each time you do, the creature makes an additional saving throw against your spell save DC. On a success, the effigy loses its magic and burns to ash.

Breathless

Starting at 10th level, you no longer need to breathe.

You gain advantage on saving throws against spells and effects that come from dangerous gases.

Diabolic Blood

At 10th level, you gain immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

Expanded Mind

Beginning at 11th level, the range of your telepathy increases to 60 feet, or 120 feet if communicating with your diaboli. The range of your darkvision increases to 120 feet.

Scion of Evil

Starting at 13th level, you gain advantage on saving throws made to resist the spells and effects of undead. You also gain advantage to saving throws made to resist the spells and effects of the type of fiends you can summon via your Dark Path (either demons or devils).

Diabolic Essence

At 14th level you gain resistance to necrotic damage.

Unbound Soul

Beginning at 17th level, the range of your telepathy increases to 120 feet. As long as you have at least one diabolus on the same plane of existence, you can communicate with them using your telepathy. your darkvision can also see through magical darkness.

You can cast plane shift or teleport by expending 4 conjuring points.

Master of Evil

At 20th level you gain immunity to necrotic damage.

You learn the true name of an extraplanar creature determined by your dark path, forcing it to become one of your diaboli: either a hezrou (CR 8) or a chain devil (CR 8). You may expend 10 conjuring points to summon it.

In addition, for a number of rounds equal to your proficiency bonus you do not take energy damage from an environmental effect of a plane that is not your own (usually the Material Plane). You may spend a conjuring point to increase the duration of this feature to a number of minutes equal to your proficiency bonus. Afterward it can be extended by 1 hour per additional spent conjuring point.

Additionally, whenever you are on a plane other than your own, you have advantage on all saves against any planar effects.

Devilish Dark Path

Thinking it unwise to strike bargains with unfettered evil, you sought out the devils in Hell in your pursuit to power. Your agreement with infernal creatures allow you to call on them to do battle, practice guile, and otherwise serve you.

At 6th level, your unholy familiar is always a devil. It gains resistance to fire and thunder, and blindsight with a range of 60 feet.

You learn Infernal and how to summon devils to do your bidding. At 9th, 15th, and 18th level you can summon more potent devils to serve as your diaboli.

  • 3rd level. Lesser Diaboli (2 Conjuring Points): lemure (CR 0), warhorse skeleton (CR ½), ghoul (CR 1), imp (CR 1)
  • 6th level. Moderate Diaboli (3 Conjuring Points): minotaur skeleton (CR 2), ogre zombie (CR 2), bearded devil (CR 3)
  • 9th level. Dire Diaboli (4 Conjuring Points): accuser devil* (CR 4), contract devil* (CR 4)
  • 15th level. Greater Diaboli (5 Conjuring Points): barbed devil (CR 5), vampire spawn (CR 5)
  • 18th level. Epic Diaboli (6 Conjuring Points): warmonger devil* (CR 6), thanadaemon* (CR 6)

Demonic Dark Path

Your research into the entities of the beyond led you to the denizens of the Abyss, forging a pact with evil as rife with chaos as malevolence. As though you were one among them, you can call on demons to grant you aid, slay your enemies, and obey your every command.

At 6th level, your unholy familiar is always a demon. It gains resistance to cold, fire, and lightning, and truesight with a range of 20 feet.

You learn Abyssal and how to summon demons to do your bidding. At 9th, 15th, and 18th level you can summon more potent demons to serve as your diaboli.

  • 3rd level. Lesser Diaboli (2 Conjuring Points): dretch (CR ¼), shadow (CR ½), quasit (CR 1), specter (CR 1)
  • 6th level. Moderate Diaboli (3 Conjuring Points): ghast (CR 2), will-o’-wisp (CR 2), wight (CR 3)
  • 9th level. Dire Diaboli (4 Conjuring Points): ghost (CR 4), succubus (CR 4)
  • 15th level. Greater Diaboli (5 Conjuring Points): abrikandilu* (CR 5), wraith (CR 5)
  • 18th level. Epic Diaboli (6 Conjuring Points): hydrodaemon* (CR 6), vrock (CR 6)

* See “Conjured Horrors”.

Variant: Alignment

Diabolists cannot be of Good alignment. If your group uses alignment, a diabolist whose alignment becomes Good cannot level in this class again until their alignment changes from Good.

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