Sunday, June 7, 2020

D&D Demon Devourer

An unusual and colorful D&D critter that feeds on demons and may join knights protecting unsoiled mana sources from those who would abuse them. A tad obscure if you're not into the Calidar world, it remains nonetheless a cool creature to retain in a DM's arsenal.

Foreground: Fu Lion by CaziTena © 2012-2020 CaziTena (altered by the author)
Background: Desert Cave Ruins by wwsketch © 2015-2020 wwsketch (altered by the author)
Mana Lion*: AC –3 (unarmored), HD 18********, MV 150’ (50’), AT 1 bite/2-4 paws or 1 spell, D bite 3d10+2/paws 2d8+1 each or by spell, Save F18; Size L (20’ long, 5,600 lbs.)—Int 14, ML 11, AL Neutral, XP 12,855.
            Abilities: Spellcasting as a magic-user—levels I-II x3 each, levels III-IV x2 each; all abilities of mage-knights (see CAL2, pg. 98); natural cat-like senses; if both front paws hit, two more attacks may be performed with the two rear paws; move silently (100% chances); detect magic at will; bite may cause mana disease; regenerates fully in 2 hours.
            Immunities: Mana sickness, weapons less than +2 enchantment, mind-affecting attacks, poison, and energy drain; spells level 3 or lower (or 25% anti-magic at the DM's option).

            In the flesh or in its native spirit form, a mana lion appears as a large, muscular feline with a red pelage and pearl-like eyes. Faint gold spots mark its short fur while its curly mane, thick brows, long-haired tail, and ample locks trailing from its limbs form long volutes of saffron light. The mana lion does not age and if it is killed, its spirit returns the World Soul at once.
            This massive 20-foot-long (26 with its tail stretched out), 5,600-lb feline can cast spells like a level 8 magic-user. It possesses all the special abilities of Shebbai knights and the senses of a cat. It can detect magic and move silently. A bite wound bears the same odds of the victim contracting mana sickness equivalent to a week-long stay inside a raw mana conduit (see CAL2, pg. 98). If the two front paw attacks succeed, extra attacks may be performed with its two hind legs. If all four attacks succeed, the mana lion drains an experience level or one HD from the victim (at the referee’s discretion). Its melee attacks and spells are potent enough to harm any demon, including archfiends. It is wholly immune to raw mana sickness as well as spells level 3 or lower, weapons with enchantments less than +2, mind-affecting magic, poison, and energy drain attacks. This fantastic beast also regenerates fully within 2 hours at most, or less than an hour if inside a mana conduit.
            If Shebbai knights befriended such a creature, it would fight alongside a combat unit (rather than an individual) usually to protect a source of mana. It would bestow upon its banner a special enchantment, thus making it a great honor among knights to carry it in battle. Mage-knights within 100 yards of a mana lion’s standard temporarily earn enough additional experience levels to increase their combat and spellcasting abilities, as well as a significant bonus to their Morale ratings. Great dishonor befalls a unit if its mana lion is slain in battle. In a non-Calidaran context, assume the mana lion would favor paladins on a worthy quest against to magic gone bad.
Shebbai Order

Source: The mana lion was originally introduced in CAL2 "On Wings of Darkness." The Shebbai knight is described in PG2 "A Players' Guide to Caldwen," although its special abilities are further detailed in CAL2, page 98. The Shebbai knight is a cross between a Templar knight and a magic-user. In a BECMI context, a standard "elf" class would work well in this role. Labyrinth Lord stats for both lion and knight are available in CAL2a "Conversion Guide to Caldwen for Vintage Roleplaying."

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