Presenting the Craft Devils. Their inspirations include the legend of Solomon commanding demons to build the First Temple, European legends of the Devil creating bridges and churches, the legend of the Codex Gigas (or Devil’s Bible), the colloquial idea of the Printer’s Devil, the legends of people entombed in walls to stop demons from preventing construction, and various other stories of diabolical helpers and craftsmen. If you dream of a life where everything comes easy, the Craft Devil is waiting to cater to your needs. He’ll make you a castle, build you clockwork servants, even sculpt your likeness in marble. You won’t even miss the innocent people he demands as payment…
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-4
HD: 9 (d8)
MOVE: 30′, 50 (fly)
ATTACKS: 1 Weapon (usually 1d8,+additional enchantment)
SPECIAL: Magic or Silver Weapons To Hit, Deepvision, Fire Resistance (Full), Immune to Poison and Emotion-affecting Magic, Craft Infernal Device, Inhuman Labor, Curse Mortal Work, Infernal Protection, Spell Resistance 13, Spell-like Abilities
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Evil
TREASURE: 12 (and see below)
Although the practices of other Devils may seem far more vile at first glance, some sages consider the Craft Devils to be the most insidiously dangerous of all. The Craft Devil doesn’t offer obviously immoral sensual indulgences, earthly power, or twisted thrills to tempt the unwary. Instead, the Craft Devil appeals to the human desire to be freed from labor, worry, and care. The Craft Devil will build beautiful structures, scribe entire libraries of books, create wonderful technological devices, and deliver potent enchanted objects. The things the Craft Devil offers often seem at first to make life easier, and the world better. It is only later that a recipient comes to fully understand the terrible price they have paid, and the awful consequences of accepting the Devil’s aid.
A Craft Devil in its natural form somewhat resembles a stooped, mature man with leathery, brownish-red skin. The facial features are grotesquely squashed, and look as if the being was always squinting and wrinkling his nose in disgust. The Devil is bearded, and apparently balding. Two small horns resembling the letter “s” protrude from the forehead, and a pair of small, bat-like wings sprout from between the shoulder blades. The nails of the hands and feet are sharp and claw-like, but not so long as to decrease the creature’s manual dexterity. The Devil also possesses a prehensile tail, which it often utilizes to hold or move objects. In Hell, Craft Devils often wear thick aprons made of stitched human hide. When they appear in the mundane world, Craft Devils tend to assume the form of a human, dwarf, or gnome.
Craft Devils love to cause the death of innocent human beings, and any agreement for the Devil’s work will almost always include a provision for such a sacrifice. In addition, Craft Devils will attempt to engineer any items, structures, or technologies they deliver to cause maximum misery over time. A Craft Devil may create a wonderful bridge across a vast gorge, but every winter it becomes slippery and somebody falls to their death. The potent magical sword that was needed to slay the marauding dragon also requires to be bathed in the blood of an innocent before it can be sheathed. The automated mill that the Devil created belches out toxic smoke that shortens the lives of everyone in the village.
A typical tactic employed by a Craft Devil is to secretly sabotage a construction or new invention. The Devil will them appear, usually in disguise, and offer to solve the mysterious problem. The Devil will appear very sympathetic to the builders’ desire to see their project finished, and will emphasize how little he asks as compensation in comparison to how much good the structure or invention will do. The Devil will not ask for payment in advance, but always show apparent good faith by setting to work as soon as an agreement is reached. Once work is completed, however, the bargainers had better be willing to deliver whatever was promised, or incur the most severe punishment. Craft Devils will always obey the letter of whatever agreement was reached, so there are numerous stories of people who were successfully able to trick the Devil into laboring for a reward that was less than what he expected. Such clever folk may sometimes save their souls from eternal damnation, but they suffer the lifelong enmity of the Devil.
Craft Devils are closely allied with the Wrath Devils, but they are friendly with every caste. They provide the items and structures used by all other Devils, so the other castes make it a priority to avoid offending them.
Combat: Since Craft Devils create the arms and armor used by other Devils, it is possible to encounter one armed with any possible weapon. They generally prefer great warhammers, however, which are often enchanted. The Devil is particularly devious with regard to using its spell-like powers. A typical tactic is to trap opponents with a Wall of Stone, fly above the wall, create an unanchored Wall of Iron in the air, and tip the sheet of solid metal onto the trapped victims.
Craft Infernal Device: Common Craft Devils can create any magical items with a value of up to 10,000 gold pieces, or invent items of clockwork technology that can replicate the effects of Arcane spells up to level 3. Clockwork technological items typically only work 50 times before they break, and any effect they create are equal to a spell from a 9th-level caster. The Craft Devil can create any magic items or technological items desired, regardless of whether the Devil can use the corresponding spell-like ability. Whatever a Craft Devil creates will have a curse, or other severe drawback. A magical helmet, for instance, may slowly turn the wearer’s face into that of a Devil. A technological device that shoots lightning bolts will also shock its user for 1d6 points of damage (no save). Craft Devils are able to teach Wizards the methods of manufacturing any item they can themselves create, and are often Summoned for that purpose. Craft Devils will sometimes accept payment in mundane money for creating Infernal Devices, as they sell the currency to Corrupter and Pact Devils who then use it to tempt new souls for Hell. Buying from the Craft Devils is always much cheaper than obtaining the same (un-cursed) items from mortal Wizards.
Inhuman Labor: Craft Devils possess skill in every area of human labor and craftsmanship. A Devil that is left to labor unobserved by mortal eyes is able to perform the work of 100 men, or can work 100 times faster than an ordinary human. This ability includes being able to simultaneously perform all the specialized jobs of a construction crew, for example. A single Craft Devil can create a small structure overnight, while a crew of them could build a castle. Forging weapons can be done at bewildering speed, and major works of art completed in hours. The Devil must have still have access to all the materials needed to perform its labor, although it is able to use Major Creation to create its own temporary tools. Watching a Craft Devil labor spoils its ability to work fast, however, slowing it down to merely the speed of the most talented human. Unless somehow magically forced to labor, a Craft Devil typically demands one human sacrifice for every night that it works. Often, it will want the life of the first person to enter or use the structure it has made.
Curse Mortal Work: A Craft Devil is able to curse and undo the previous day’s work of up to 100 men. They can likewise spoil the construction of technological items or the progress of enchantments. The Devil can only ruin the work of the previous day, and no more.
Infernal Protection: Just as they can ruin human labor, Craft Devils are also able to protect finished constructions and devices. The unholy blessing of a Craft Devil can do any of the following:
1. Protect a structure against natural decay and any damage from wind or weather, for a period of 100 years.
2. Protect a structure and its inhabitants against any spells of Level 1-3, for a period of 100 years.
3. Make a structure completely vermin-free for a period of 100 years.
4. Protect a device or object from breaking, corroding, or wearing out, for a period of 100 years.
Such protections come at terrible prices, of course. Typically, the Devil will demand that an innocent victim be entombed alive within a structure to be protected, or else killed with the object to be preserved. A separate innocent victim will be required for each blessing granted. There are stories of people who have actually volunteered to be sacrificed in this way, but the people who made the bargain with the Devil were nonetheless damned to Hell.
Spell-like Abilities: Alter Self (to any humanoid form, at will), Unseen Servant (at will), Ironwood (3/day), Locate Object (at will), Major Creation (at will), Move Earth (1/day), Produce Flame (at will), Pyrotechnics (at will), Wall of Stone (1/day), Wall of Iron (1/day), In common with other Infernals, Craft 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. A Craft Devil can Summon another of its kind, a Wrath Devil, or 3 Tormentor Devils, with a 65% chance of success. All abilities have an effective caster level of 9.
Immune To Fire: Like all Devils, a Craft Devil cannot be harmed by fire.