Demonologist Class

Demonolgist by Luigi Castellani

This class was recently featured in Issue #3 of Brave the Labyrinth, a fan-written magazine by Small Niche Games. I’m glad to have been a part of it. Go buy a copy! Available in pdf.


Requirements: INT 12, WIS 9, CHA 15
Prime Requisite: INT and CHA
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 20

The Demonologist is a specialized variation of the magic-user class that offers up the stillwarm hearts of his victims to receive favor from his dark master, including taking on the Infernal or Demonic aspects of his master. In some places they are called Summoners of Orcus. In others, Ritualists of Bael. They are the foremost experts on the Lower Planes, masters of summoning beings from across the world and beyond to do their murderous bidding.

Demonologists share the same restrictions on armor and weapons as a magic-user and use the same tables for attack rolls. They must be of evil alignment and must worship a Demon Lord or other evil god. The prime requisite score requirements for both INT and CHA must be met in order to get an experience bonus.

Demonologists learn and prepare spells as a magic-user. They may also learn a new spell (up to the spell level they can cast) upon gaining a new level. Spells may also be learned from scrolls and other spellbooks that contain spells from the Demonologist spell-list (see below).

A Demonologist can cast spells from magic-user scrolls so long as they are on his spell list. He can also use other items such as wands, rods, and staves, as long as the spells they replicate are on his spell list.

Demonologists are often found working as spiritual advisers behind the throne and are valued for their ability to consult with supernatural beings. Due to the dangerous beings they summon, they might also be found in isolated towers far from civilization. When adventuring, they often have a specific goal in mind such as acquiring a demonic weapon, finding a tome of lost and forbidden magic, a quest for their patron, or simply the pursuit of personal power.

Shackle Heart

Shackle Heart is a spell-like ability that requires a finely made box, called the Shackle. The Shackle box is a bit larger in size than one’s fist, bound shut by a fine iron chain or latches, and inscribed with demonic runes. The Shackle box must be made of materials worth at least 50 gp.

It takes one day of meditation and unholy prayers to prepare the box once it is constructed. If the Demonologist acquires another Demonologist’s Shackle box, he may spend 25 gp to attune it to himself. He may attune as many Shackle boxes as he likes, but he can only carry one Shackled Heart at a time. Any other hearts dissolve in a steaming mass
that is absorbed by the box.

To cast Shackle Heart, the Demonologist raises his Shackle box, which glows with unholy light, and stretches it out towards the victim. The target of this spell feels something like a malevolent force squeezing his heart with an iron grip, cold iron chains being wrapped around his chest, or simply intense pain and an inability to catch his breath.

The target must saving throw vs. spells or begin suffering the following effects:

  • Stunned for the duration (no DEX bonus, no shield bonus, -4 penalty to AC, cannot act).
  • Suffer 1 hit point of damage per round asthe heart is squeezed by the malicious will of the Demonologist. This damage increases by 1 point for every two levels of the caster, starting at 2nd level. (i.e. 2 hit points of damage per round at 2nd level, 3 hit points of damage per round at 4th level, etc.).
  • If the target has less than 1 HD (i.e. 1d4 hp, 1-1 HD, or a 0-level human), A saving throw vs. death is required to avoid instant death.
  • Each round, the target may make a saving throw vs. spells to end the spell. These secondary saving throws are at a cumulative -1 penalty. (i.e. -1 to the saving throw on the 2nd round, -2 to the saving throw on the 3rd round, etc.)

If the target is intelligent (generally, with an INT greater than 3) and dies as a direct result of the damage inflicted, the steaming heart of the creature appears inside the Shackle box. This “Shackled Heart” can then be used to improve other spells with the Sanguine Ritual (see below).

Shackle Heart can be used to target one humanoid or animal at a time. It has a range of 30 ft + 10 ft per level and requires complete concentration—the caster cannot move, speak (except to chant the spell), or suffer damage or else the spell ends. This ability does not need to be memorized or prepared by the Demonologist and is usable three times per day, plus once for every three levels of the Demonologist.

Background Note: This spell was inspired by the Clutch of Orcus spell in the Dungeons & Dragons™ 3.5 edition supplement Libris Mortis. Here, it’s meant to be used as a spell-like ability of the Demonologist and one of the primary methods he deals damage and improves his limited spell-list. If used as a magic-user spell, the wording would be very similar except that it would be a 2nd-level spell that deals 3 hit points of damage per round and does not require the Shackle box (the steaming heart appears in the caster’s hand).

Sanguine Ritual

This ritual requires a Shackled Heart to be inside the Shackle box. The Demonologist always knows if the Shackle box is full or empty. If the box leaves his possession, any Shackled Heart inside is rendered unusable. An unusable Heart in his possession can be destroyed inside the box with a thought, should
he wish.

The Sanguine Ritual involves offering up a fresh Shackled Heart to his patron god or demon. The Shackled Heart, if accepted, is consumed within the Demonologist’s box and thick black smoke issues from within. A Shackled Heart must be used within an hour (6 turns) of being acquired.

The Sanguine Ritual takes 1 turn to cast and the player and referee are encouraged to make up small rituals for the different effects. At the very least, the ritual may involve standing in the center of a small pentagram or other unholy symbol drawn with salt or sand from the caster’s pouch. He then invokes his patron’s name and offers up the sacrificial heart.

In general, the benefit acquired from the Saguine Ritual affects the next spell cast within the next hour (6 turns) and/or increases the abilities of the caster for the same duration.

At 1st level, the Demonologist may acquire one benefit of his choice from the Ritual. More options are granted every three levels starting at 3rd level and he may choose an additional option from his pool at each stage. Note that “Summoned Creatures” refers to beings summoned by a summon monster spell, not to
a summon demon or gate spell.

Level 1:

  • Improved Familiar: +45% chance to summon a special familiar.
  • Improved Identify: The caster does not suffer CON loss when casting identify.
  • Corrupt Spell: The target of the next spell that allows a saving throw suffers a -1 penalty. (This also works with the Shackle Heart ability).
  • Tongue of the Devil: Gain +2 to saving throw vs. poisons and may cast Charm Person once while the effect lasts.

Level 3:

  • Invigorate Spell: The next spell cast that has a duration, has its duration increased by 50%.
  • Invigorate Summoning: The next group of summoned creatures gains +2 hp,thereby gaining a +1 to-hit. Example: A summoned orc would have HD 1+2.
  • Flesh of the Demon: The caster gains AC 4 as his skin becomes scaly and redbrown. If he already has AC 4 or better due to armor or magic rings, his AC is improved by only 1. Lasts 1 hour.

Level 6:

  • Extraplanar Summoning: The next group of summoned creatures is a fiendish version of the original creature. They gain +2 to-hit, +2 damage, take 1/2 damage from cold, fire, and electricity attacks, and possess 60’ infravision. They are Chaotic (evil).
  • Eyes of the Demon: The caster gains Infravision 90’ (or adds 30’ if he already has Infravision), +1 to all saving throws for 1 hour, and a gaze attack that, if the target fails a saving throw vs. spells, makes the target freeze with terror and be unable to act until the gaze is broken for any reason (including taking actions).

Level 9: (The caster may choose to apply two effects per Shackled Heart)

  • Brutal Summoning: The next group of Summoned creatures has +2 HD each.
  • Claws of the Demon: Gain a claw attack that deals 1d4+2 damage and hits with a +2 magic bonus (included in the damage above).

Level 12:

  • Vile Spell: The target of the caster’s next spell that allows a saving throw suffers a -2 penalty. Does not stack with Corrupt Spell, but if both are chosen, Vile Spell triggers on the first spell and Corrupt Spell triggers on the second one. (This also works with the Shackle Heart ability).
  • Insight of the Devil: On the caster’s next divination spell, if the odds of success or a true answer are based on the caster’s level, the odds for success are doubled.

Level 15:

  • Intuitive Summoning: The caster may roll twice to determine the type of creature summoned and choose the one he wishes.
  • Mind of the Demon: The caster gains the benefits of the telepathy spell (allowing two-way mental communication with others) for 30 minutes. Can only be surprised on a 1 on 1d6 when a monster rolls for surprise.

Level 18: (The caster may choose to apply three effects per Shackled Heart)

  • Mass Calling: The caster may roll twice to determine the types of creatures summoned. An equal number of both creatures appear, or twice the normal amount if he decides not to make a second roll. If combined with Intuitive Summoning, he rolls four times and chooses the two types he wants.
  • Aspect of the Demon: The caster transforms into the type of Demon or Devil of his choosing with a maximum HD of 1/2 his level (so an 18th-level caster could turn into, at most, a Hezrou Demon). His AC, HD (and hit points, if higher than his normal max total), attack rolls, movement rates, attack types, saving throws, resistances, and intrinsic abilities (like the level-draining kiss of a succubus) all change to the Demon’s. He does not gain any of its spell-like abilities unless they are on the caster’s list of known spells (including teleport) and he cannot gate in demonic allies. He cannot cast his normal spells, but he can use Shackle Heart. In fact, the only piece of equipment not absorbed into his new form is his Shackle box. This effect lasts 1 round/caster level. When it ends, the caster ages 5 years due to the drain on his soul. Using this ability uses the entire Shackled Heart—it cannot be used for two other additional effects, only this transformation.


At 11th level, the Demonologist may build a stronghold and attract 1d6 1st-3rd level apprentices of either the Demonologist, magic-user, or cleric class. Demonologists typically create strongholds in hidden wilderness locations at a source of evil power or underground if they wish to remain near civilization.

Lvl Ability 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1 Shackle Heart 1*, Sanguine Ritual 1** 1
2 Shackle Heart 2 2
3 Sanguine Ritual 2 2 1
4 Shackle Heart 3 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 Shackle Heart 4, Sanguine Ritual 3 3 2 2
7 3 3 2 1
8 Shackle Heart 5 3 3 2 2
9 Sanguine Ritual 4 3 3 2 2 1
10 Shackle Heart 6 4 3 3 3 2
11 Cabal 4 3 3 3 2 1
12 Shackle Heart 7, Sanguine Ritual 5 4 4 3 3 3 2
13 4 4 3 3 3 2 1
14 Shackle Heart 8 5 4 4 4 3 3 2
15 Sanguine Ritual 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16 Shackle Heart 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2
17 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 1
18 Shackle Heart 10, Sanguine Ritual 7 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 2
19 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 3
20 Shackle Heart 11 6 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4

* The number refers to how much damage Shackle Heart does each round.

** The number refers to how many Ritual effects the Demonologist knows.

Abilities and Spells per Day

EXP Level Hit Dice (1d4)
0 1 1
2,801 2 2
5,601 3 3
12000 4 4
24000 5 5
50000 6 6
100000 7 7
150000 8 8
300000 9 9
500000 10 +1 hp only
650000 11 +2 hp only
800000 12 +3 hp only
900000 13 +4 hp only
1100000 14 +5 hp only
1250000 15 +6 hp only
1400000 16 +7 hp only
1550000 17 +8 hp only
1700000 18 +9 hp only
1850000 19 +10 hp only
2000000 20 +11 hp only



Lvl Breath Poison & Death Petrify & Paralysis Wands Spells
1-5 16 13 13 13 14
6-10 14 11 11 11 12
11-15 12 9 9 9 8
16-18 8 7 6 5 6
19+ 7 6 5 4 4

I’ll post the Demonologist’s Spell List next week!



One thought on “Demonologist Class

  1. Pingback: Demonologist Spell List | The Dais and Column

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