Here’s an intriguing fellow just waiting to make a deal. He makes a great plot device for darker campaigns, as well as a way to explain the existence of many magic items. Remember, always read the fine print on anything you sign….
PACT DEVIL (Black Man of the Crossroads)
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1
HD: 7 (d8)
AC: 20 (26 in conditions of darkness)
ATTACKS: 1 Weapon (by weapon type), Spells
SPECIAL: Magic or Silver Weapons To Hit, Deepvision, Fire Resistance (Full), Immune to Poison and Emotion-affecting Magic, Spell use, Grant Heart’s Desire, Enforce Pact, Set Hellhounds On Your Trail, Spell Resistance 15, Spell-like Abilities
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Evil
Souls are the currency of Hell, and no caste of Devils is greedier for souls, or more adept at acquiring them, than the Pact Devils. A Pact Devil closely resembles a normal human in form, but they are wholly jet black in color. Even their eyes and teeth are black, with no other color visible. When Pact Devils bleed, their blood resembles ink. These Devils also dress in completely black clothing, which may range from garb like that of mortal commoners to rich robes. Each Pact Devil always carries a large, black book, in which they keep their contracts, records of accounts, and magic spells.
Pact Devils tempt mortals with the promise of riches, talent, and magic. The ritual to summon one is simple and well known. It requires only that the supplicant visits a lonely crossroads on three successive nights, at exactly the stroke of midnight. The hopeful petitioner must state that they wish to speak to the Black Man of the Crossroads, and what they want from him. He must then wait, by himself, for another hour. One hour after midnight on the third night a Pact Devil will appear, and offer to strike a bargain with its summoner.
Pact Devils have the ability to grant a range of desires. They can confer or increase talents, make people wealthy, or even teach the use of magic. They do not always demand that a mortal actually sell their soul, at least not at first. Very often, Pact Devils will initially want the bargainer to simply perform some act of evil that will serve Hell’s interest, and serve to further corrupt the soul before it is finally harvested. Other times the pact Devil will take things that cause the bargainer joy, such as their love or sense of smell. Sometimes, a Pact Devil will even perform some small favor for the subject without even asking for payment, as an inducement to further dealing. The ultimate goal, for the Devil, however, is always the collection of a soul.
Typical bargains offered by Pact Devils include:
Slay someone (who is destined to be a powerful agent of Heaven) in return for 10,000 gold pieces.
Open the city gates (leaving in a conquering army of diabolists) in return for learning the Fly spell.
Renounce your true love in return for a Magical Sword that can fight Demons (Sword +1)
Lose your beauty in return for a poison that will slay your husband for his infidelity.
Lose your soul, and gain a Level of Wizard ability.
You will die at 27 and lose your soul, in return for becoming the best lute player in the kingdom.
Bargains involving ever greater desires necessitate dealing directly with the Presidents of the Pact Devils, who are even more devious than the common variety. The actual contract offered by any Pact Devil will always be written in small, cramped letters and with the most intricate and confusing language possible. It must be signed in blood, of course, to be binding.
In addition to their own activities, Pact Devils serve as the accountants for other Devils. They will often be summoned by the other castes when they are collecting souls, in order to record and enforce the contract. They are always present at revels of the Black Sabbat, for example. The Pact Devils are consequently owed many favors by other Devils, a position that they thoroughly enjoy.
Combat: Pact Devils seldom engage in melee combat, although they are capable of using any weapon if pressed. If a bargain cannot be struck with potential opponents, the Pact Devil prefers to use magic, and employ its Hell Hounds.
Spell Use: A Pact Devil can cast spells as a 12th level Wizard. These spells are separate from, and in addition to, the Devil’s spell-like abilities. The Pact Devil’s Black Book is also its spell book, and the Devils consults it in exactly the same way as would a normal Wizard. They receive bonus spells due to their intelligence scores.
Grant Heart’s Desire: The Pact Devil is able to grant any of the following things as part of a contract:
1. A Level in any class except Cleric and Druid.
2. Wealth or any treasure with a maximum value of 10,000 gold pieces.
3. Any spell that the Pact Devil knows.
4. An enchanted item with a value of less than 10,000 gold pieces.
5. Mastery of a single type of artistic expression or area of skill, such as singing or bread baking. The recipient may well become renowned for this ability, but it is completely non-magical. Mastery of a musical instrument, for example, does not confer any special Bard abilities.
Enforce Pact: The Pact Devil is able to purchase anything, including things like love, memories, beauty, and senses. Once both the pact Devil and the petitioner sign their contract, the bargain specified must happen. The pact Devil is bound to deliver its end, and anything sold will be removed from the seller’s life permanently. If they sold their love, for instance, their former lover will suddenly begin to treat them with indifference, and will never regard them with affection ever again.
The consequences of actually selling one’s soul to the Pact Devil are dire. Firstly, the subject will be damned to torment in Hell after death, regardless of their Alignment. Secondly, no miracle of Heaven will be able to benefit the hapless person, including healing. Thirdly, the character can never be Resurrected, Raised, or Reincarnated. A Pact Devil can even purchase a fraction of a soul, equivalent to one or more Levels of experience.
If the terms of the contract call for an action, and that action is not performed within the specified time, then the Pact Devil will send its Hell Hounds after the one who is attempting to break faith. Anyone killed by these Hounds will forfeit their soul to hell, whatever the original bargain was. In fact, the possibility of soul forfeiture in this manner is always spelled out in the terms of the contract, albeit in extremely small print and confusing language.
Hell Hounds: Each Pact Devil has two Hell Hounds always at its beck and call. These creatures can either be a pair of 5 Hit Dice Hellhounds, as per the standard monster description, or else Tormentor Devils permanently bound into the form of black dogs. The Pact Devil can summon its Hell Hounds at will, and they will obey its orders without question. The Hounds can be sent to track down those who escape from the Pact Devil, and will be thereby empowered to enter any plane in search of their prey.
The Black Book: The Black Book carried by a Pact Devil contains its spells and contracts. It appears to be bound in black leather, sometimes with iron bindings, with pages of old but extremely high quality vellum. The book can be recalled to the Pact Devil at will, without regard to distance in time, space or plane of existence. Although it appears to have a definite amount of pages before it is opened, anyone actually trying to peruse the Book finds that it seems to have far more pages than seems possible. In addition to every signed contract the Pact Devil has ever made on its own or another Devil’s behalf, the book will contain 5-10 spells of each Level from 0 to 6. These spells can be learned just like any others, if a would-be thief can find some way of separating a Pact Devil from its Book. If the Book is ever destroyed, every contract within it is rendered null and void. Destroying such a book is nearly impossible, however, even after the destruction of its owner. Each Black Book has Spell Resistance of 19, can take 100 hit points of damage, and regenerates 10 hit points per round. In addition, Hell considers the recovery of lost Black Books to be top priority. Even if the original owner and his Hell Hounds have been destroyed, another Pact Devil (perhaps of Noble status) will surely make it his mission to recover the lost Book and punish its would-be possessors. If a Black Book is sold, everyone who has had contact with it in any way will be singled out for death by Hell.
Spell-like Abilities: In common with other Infernals, Pact Devils can roam the Ethereal and Astral planes; speak, write, and understand all languages and forms of communication; become Invisible; see in complete darkness; Teleport with no chance of error; perform feats of Prestidigitation; Know Alignment; assume the form of a snake, black dog, black cat, goat, toad, raven, or owl; and create Darkness, all at will. Although they can call upon their Hell Hounds at will, Pact Devils never summon any other Devils, because they do not wish to owe them favors. All abilities have an effective caster level of 12.
Immune To Fire: Like all Devils, a Pact Devil cannot be harmed by fire.