Converting a Demon

The first monster I tried updating, Frost Giant, seemed to do well with this scheme. Let’s try something a little more ambitious. The babau is described as being a sneaky, sly being, and it is suggested that it likes working from ambush (with the sneak attacks and multiple attacks, I can see why). I find that even though it has the ability to sneak attack, it wasn’t particularly designed to be a good sneak. The big racial bonuses to sneaky-type skills help, of course, but the ability scores are better for a brute. This is a monster that hides until it can fight, then evidently acts like other demons. I’d rather see a cunning enemy that infiltrates, then steals important items and/or assassinates targets. I think this can be modeled within the monster redevelopment scheme, but let’s see what we can do.

Babau (Demon)

From the RSRD:

Babau CR6

Always CE Medium Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +19, Spot +1

Languages Abyssal, telepathy


AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +8 natural)

Hp 66 (7d8+35); DR 10/cold iron or good

Immune electricity, poison

Resist acid 10, cold 10 fire 10

Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +6; SR 14

Special Protective slime


Speed 30 ft (6 squares)

Melee 2 claws +12 melee (1d6+5) and bite +7 melee (1d6+2)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Base Atk +7; Grp +12

Atk Options sneak attack +2d6, spell-like abilities, summon demon


Abilities Str 21, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16

SQ Protective Slime

Feats Cleave, Multiattack, Power Attack

Skills Climb +15, Disable Device +12, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +11, Hide +19, Listen +19, Move Silently +19, Open Lock +11, Search +20, Sleight of Hand +11, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks), Use Rope +1 (+3 with bindings)

Advancement 8-14 HD (Large); 15-21 (Huge)


Protective Slime A slimy red jelly coats the babau’s skin. Any weapon that touches it takes 1d8 points of acid damage from the corrosive goo, and the weapon’s hardness does not reduce this damage. A magic weapon may attempt a DC 18 Reflex save to avoid taking this damage. A creature who strikes the babau with an unarmed attack, unarmed strike, touch spell, or natural weapon takes this damage as well but can negate the damage with a DC 18 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. [IMC these would be DC 15 saves –kjd]

Skill Bonuses Babau have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Search checks.

Summon Demon Once per day a babau can attempt to summon 1 babau with a 40% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a third-level spell. Given the described combat style and how I expect to use this demon type, this looks like a good candidate for Rogue.

Babau Rogue 6 CR6

Always CE Medium Humanoid (Demon, Outsider, Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +18, Spot +1, Trapfinding, Trap Sense +2

Languages Abyssal, telepathy


AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +8 natural)

Hp 51 (6d6+30); DR 10/cold iron or good

Immune electricity, poison

Resist acid 10, cold 10 fire 10

Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +3; SR 14; evasion

Special Protective slime, uncanny dodge (retains Dex bonus when flat-footed)


Speed 30 ft (6 squares)

Melee 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+5) and bite +7 melee (1d6+2)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Base Atk +4; Grp +9

Atk Options sneak attack +3d6, spell-like abilities, summon demon


Abilities Str 20, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16

SQ Protective Slime

Feats Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack

Skills Climb +14, Disable Device +11, Disguise +12, Escape Artist +10, Hide +18, Listen +18, Move Silently +18, Open Lock +10, Search +19, Sleight of Hand +10, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks), Use Rope +1 (+3 with bindings)

Advancement 8-14 HD (Large); 15-21 (Huge)


Protective Slime A slimy red jelly coats the babau’s skin. Any weapon that touches it takes 1d8 points of acid damage from the corrosive goo, and the weapon’s hardness does not reduce this damage. A magic weapon may attempt a DC 18 Reflex save to avoid taking this damage. A creature who strikes the babau with an unarmed attack, unarmed strike, touch spell, or natural weapon takes this damage as well but can negate the damage with a DC 18 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. [IMC these would be DC 15 saves –kjd]

Skill Bonuses Babau have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Search checks.

Summon Demon Once per day a babau can attempt to summon 1 babau with a 40% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a third-level spell.

Trapfinding can use Search to locate traps when DC is higher than 20. May use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

As described in the introduction, this race is not currently well suited to my expected purpose. I’d like to rearrange the ability scores somewhat – assume the above is based on the elite array and shift the scores around so the monsters can be better tailored to my desired goal. In this case it might be worth keeping Constitution where it is (these guys are tough) and shifting the higher score from Strength to Dexterity. Leave them with the evident +6 racial bonus to Strength and the +2 racial bonus to Dexterity, resulting in a Str 16, Dex 18 babau instead of the RAW Str 21, Dex 13 babau. This would reduce the attack damage, encourage the use of Weapon Finesse instead of Power Attack, improve the Reflex Save (useful for evasion), improve the Armor Class, and so on. All these things seem appropriate for a sneaky slippery demon-type character. Let’s see what this would look like.

Babau Rogue 6 CR6

Always CE Medium Humanoid (Demon, Outsider, Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)

Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +18, Spot +1, Trapfinding, Trap Sense +2

Languages Abyssal, telepathy


AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +8 natural)

Hp 51 (6d6+30); DR 10/cold iron or good

Immune electricity, poison

Resist acid 10, cold 10 fire 10

Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +3; SR 14; evasion

Special Protective slime, uncanny dodge (retains Dex bonus when flat-footed)


Speed 30 ft (6 squares)

Melee 2 claws +8 melee (1d6+3) and bite +6 melee (1d6+1)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Base Atk +4; Grp +7

Atk Options sneak attack +3d6, spell-like abilities, summon demon


Abilities Str 16, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16

SQ Protective Slime

Feats Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Weapon Finesse

Skills Climb +12, Disable Device +11, Disguise +12, Escape Artist +13, Hide +21, Listen +18, Move Silently +21, Open Lock +10, Search +19, Sleight of Hand +13, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks), Use Rope +1 (+3 with bindings)

Advancement 8-14 HD (Large); 15-21 (Huge)


Protective Slime A slimy red jelly coats the babau’s skin. Any weapon that touches it takes 1d8 points of acid damage from the corrosive goo, and the weapon’s hardness does not reduce this damage. A magic weapon may attempt a DC 18 Reflex save to avoid taking this damage. A creature who strikes the babau with an unarmed attack, unarmed strike, touch spell, or natural weapon takes this damage as well but can negate the damage with a DC 18 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. [IMC these would be DC 15 saves –kjd]

Skill Bonuses Babau have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Search checks.

Summon Demon Once per day a babau can attempt to summon 1 babau with a 40% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a third-level spell.

Trapfinding can use Search to locate traps when DC is higher than 20. May use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

This seems a little more in line with how I would use this demon. It might be nice to see him actually using weapons (possibly something exotic, which would require trading Multiattack for Exotic Weapon Proficiency). There is a distinct lack of cool feats for rogues in the RSRD so it’s hard to tweak him meaningfully. All things considered, though, this is probably still about CR 6. It’s got a little less durability (lower hit points, lower saves) and somewhat lower Base Attack Bonus. The addition of evasion and uncanny dodge help, though. However, aside from the lack of gear (which should be readily solved) it’s still a little more powerful than a comparable human rogue (which is defined as CR 6), so I can’t see it being too weak. I think it needs some adjustment, but it seems a credible threat for its CR, and potentially more flavourful. Just the use of Rogue instead of Outsider helped make it less generic in my mind.

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4 Comments

  1. hadsil

    Remember what CR is supposed to mean. CR is the level of a 4-man party using up 20-25% of their resources in defeating it in battle. That this demon is a bit stronger than a 6th level rogue is not a problem. A 6th level rogue is not going to be fighting it alone. He’ll have a 6th level fighter, 6th level wizard, and a 6th level cleric with him.

  2. True enough. My point in that sentence was more than a human rogue is defined as being CR 6, the core babau is defined as being CR 6, this appears to land somewhere between the two in power — and thus, can be considered CR 6 unless and until something suggests otherwise.

    Now, if you wanted to point out that a human sixth-level Rogue might not actually be CR 6 (something I’m prepared to consider as entirely likely), that’s another matter.

  3. hadsil

    The issue with any solo bad guy though is that the bad guy has one action compared to the standard party’s four. The actions the solo bad guy can do matters more than how many HD it has. For example purposes, let’s make this 7th level. A 7th level bad guy rogue probably won’t be able to kill anyone before he goes down. Even going first with 4d6 sneak attack, the 7th level party wizard could survive. At worse, in Death’s Door if unlucky when rolling for hit points and poor Con. To kill someone the bad guy would need two weapon fighting and somehow be able to make a full attack. Possible. Surprise the party for one attack in surprise round then win initiative. Make the solo bad guy a 7th level wizard, a party member can die by Phantasmal Killer, easier to do than the bad guy rogue’s way. A 7th level bad guy fighter needs to charge with power attack and hope for the best. The 7th level cleric can only Divine Metamagic Quicken Hold Person then coup de grace, but he can escape the party relatively easy with Sanctuary.

  4. Oh, right! “How I Design Encounters”, that might make for a good article. I rarely use solo encounters any more, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow.

    As written here this monster takes a bit of effort to use well, but so does the original. Under the right circumstances this beastie can do up 9d6 points of sneak attack in a round, which should be enough to make many characters unhappy.

    Perhaps that’s how I need to see it — it’s not weak, it’s differently-effective.

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