Fiendish Brute (3.5e Class)
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The power of a fiend goes beyond mere magical power: it is a transformation into a form that most suits one’s evil. For some fiends, physical power is the route by which they work their will on the world, and fangs and claws are just a few of the weapons that fiends develop in order to rend the helpless flesh of their prey. Physical transformations like stingers, wings, poisons, and vile diseases all find their way into the armaments of fiends, but do not think that these are the limits of their evil; fiends are nothing if not creative in the pursuit of their own particular brand of evil.
Making a Fiendish Brute
Abilities: The Fiendish Brute is meant to be a useful source for combat-oriented Fiend feats. You'll probably want to take some of those.
Races: The Fiendish Brute is only available to Outsiders with a plane of origin in the Lower Planes. Creatures from the Prime Material Plane whose ancestors were from a Lower Plane may take this class, but they must have the Outsider type.
Alignment: A character must be non-good to take any levels in Fiendish Brute. Nothing happens to a Fiendish Brute if he becomes Good, save that he must look elsewhere for class advancing.
Starting Gold: 4d4x10 gp (100 gold)
Starting Age: As Warforged Rogue.
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+0||Natural Weapons, Natural Armor, Attribute Boost|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Fiendish Brutes are proficient only with armor spikes, and aren't inherently proficient with any armor.
Natural Weapons: A Fiendish Brute has 2 claw attacks, one attached to each arm (or its two front legs if it is a quadruped, if it has no limbs at all it grows two vestigial arms that have claws at the end). These claws are natural weapons and inflict damage normal for the creature's size.
Natural Armor: A Fiendish Brute has a natural armor bonus of 3 plus its class level. So a 7th level Fiendish Brute has a natural armor bonus of +10.
Attribute Boost: At 1st level and every odd numbered level afterward, the Fiendish Brute's physical attributes improve, as if it had gained several character levels. Every time the Fiendish Brute gains an attribute boost, two of his physical attributes irrevocably increase by 1.
Playing a Fiendish Brute
Religion: Fiendish Brutes likely don't worry much about religion, seeing as how they are definitely the offspring of fiends, and Good-aligned religions tend to frown upon that. Also, when you know that devils and demons exist and that you are one of them, what's there to be afraid of in Hell or the Abyss?
Other Classes: Brutes get along with other fiendish classes, but apart from probably bickering with Paladins and Good Clerics, who they get along with is up to an individual's personality and values. Fragile casters may hold the hulking Brutes in disdain, or could admire the usefulness of having a perambulatory wall which can carry multiple tons around. Or be interested in a half-orc whose fiendish ancestry lets him shoot spines. Fighters and Barbarians may love having a Brute to spar with.
Combat: The Fiendish Brute could easily be a massive melee bruiser. The Large Size and Huge Size feats each give +8 to Strength, as per creature advancement. Those rules also increase the Constitution Score, giving the Brute a parcel of bonus HP and astounding Fortitude saves. Other Fiendish Feats add tricks such as flight, poison or slime to the Brute's repetoire, giving him a bag of tricks to draw upon.
Advancement: The Fiendish Brute, upon reaching his 10 levels, could go into Conduit of the Lower Planes (DnD Class) or True Fiend (DnD Class), but almost any non-casting class would go well with four levels of Brute if the Brute is dipped into strategically. With the Large Size and Huge Size feats, the Strength, Constitution, and Natural Armor scores go up (at the expense of Dexterity) and come with the ability to wield larger weapons. And if being twenty feet tall is a bit of a problem, one could also take the Harmless Form feat to give oneself a disguise which won't excite suspicion (Also a nice one for Rogues to have). So, yes, definitely one for the melee fighters. As for what the other classes can add to the Brute...The Brute would gain weapon and armor proficiencies, giving him more options than his natural weapons and buffing up his relatively light AC (being unable to wear armor or use shields will do that to you.)
Fiendish Brutes in the World
|“||"Well, yes, I did lie to you about what I was. Would you have talked to me even this much if I'd told you that I can be some twenty feet tall and could smash you flat with one hand?"||”|
|—Belg, Half-orc Fiendish Brute/True Fiend/Rogue|
Daily Life: Get up, eat, do stuff, sleep. That's about the only constants.
Organizations: There isn't much of an organization. Brutes may serve their own interests, or may serve those of more powerful fiends.
NPC Reactions: Given that the Brute quickly becomes recognizably monstrous, the average NPC is going to FREAK.
Fiendish Brute Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Planes) can research Fiendish Brutes to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Them demons is huge monsters! Claws and teeth and all that!|
|10||Despite the impressive physical abilities of some fiendish descendents, they're still people, and can be frighteningly intelligent.|
|15||Some common Fiendish traits are (explanation of 1d4 Fiendish Feats)|
Fiendish Brutes in the Game
Adaptation: If you, as a DM, want to keep the Fiend classes and feats in the hole and use them to create unusual enemies, go right ahead. When used for PCs, though, the Fiendish Brutes and other Fiend classes can make interesting characters who either embrace their fiendish heritage or struggle to prove they are more than their bloodline. Which is made difficult because character could gain Fiendish feats "unwillingly" and therefore be stuck with poisonous claws or snake tails they don't want but can't get rid of.
Sample Encounter: Fiendish Brutes are often found in service to greater fiends--the True Fiends. That said, in a chaotic and complex world, there's no telling where fiendish ancestry will express itself.
Henda is a big black-scaled Lizardfolk, with spine ridges on his shoulders, tail, and legs. He stands about nine feet tall, and weighs about five hundred pounds.
|Neutral Evil Large Humanoid (Reptilian, Aquatic, Baatezu)|
|Init/Senses||+3/Listen +11, Spot +11|
|AC||23, touch 12, flat-footed 20|
|hp||96 (See below) (1d8 + 6d10 + 28 HD)|
|Speed||30 ground speed, 60 foot swim speed, 10 foot climb speed|
|Melee||2 claws +11 (1d8 + 8), 1 Bite +11 (2d6 + 12), Spine +11 (1d6 + 8 and Poison 1d2 Dex, Fort Save, DC 17)|
|Ranged||2 Spines +6 (30-foot range increment, 1d6 damage, Poison 1d2 Dex, Fort Save, DC 17)|
|Abilities||Str 27, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6|
|SQ||See in Darkness, Fiendish Invisibility, Track|
|Feats||Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Spines of Fury (DnD Feat), Poison Sacs (DnD Feat) (Small Monstrous Centipede Venom on the Spines), Fiendish Invisibility (DnD Feat) (Visible for a round after touching a mortal), Large Size (DnD Feat)|
|Skills||Jump +18, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) +4, Listen +11, Spot +11, Survival +5, Swim +18|
Notes: This is a boss intended to be used against a level 5 (or so) party in an SRD (or mostly so) game.
Henda's story is that he's been in a forgotten dungeon--I mean, an actual underground jail--for entirely too long. I used Surgo's Lizardfolk variant because I like the idea of a demonic lizard and the SRD Lizardfolk is, indeed, unsatisfying. Henda has +2 Str and -2 Cha as his racial modifiers.
The setting for this is a decaying dungeon. It's dark, there's rubble, and the players have to contend with a 9-foot-tall lizardman who can shoot spikes and bites like a crocodile. Oh, and he's invisible. And he's immortal (except to being killed by violence) so he hasn't died from hunger (though he wishes he could have). Henda's basically past the point of reasoning, he'll be so glad to have a chance at fresh meat.
Henda, once he's out of his cell, will go invisible and snipe at the players using Spines of Fury. Firing two spines at a time, that's seven volleys. After six volleys Henda will break off his last two spines and use them for daggers in melee before going to his claws and bite.
The melee is when he's vulnerable. He doesn't become visible if he hits with the ranged attacks, but if he hits someone in melee (or Bull Rushes them), he becomes visible.
He has max HP (96) so the party doesn't immediately take him down, but he wears no armor apart from his natural armor, so the players have an relatively light AC to contend with--this is intentional. I find it less irritating to carve at a pile of hit points than to try to beat a super AC. Also, him being one target against an entire party means he'll be outnumbered. Remember, Henda is insane with hunger, and he's not coherent enough to focus on just one character. He'll attack the party members essentially at random.
Henda's light on treasure, but the players will be able to pick up unbroken spines and use them as daggers which also do 1d2 Dex damage due to the poison (DC 17 Fortitude Save, just like when he used them; I'd let the technical Large size slide). For what that's worth.
As a final note, Henda has the Level 1 Baatezu traits from True Fiend. This makes him able to see in any darkness and gives him immunity to fire. You can drop the fire immunity, but I kinda like him being able to see them no matter where he is--and, after all, it's a dark dungeon. This is balanced by Henda being about as quiet as a boulder rolling downhill while ranting about how good it will be to eat something--ANYTHING. He also smells of brimstone, so you may want to clue them into that.