Friday, January 25, 2019

Class: Sanctioned Cambion

Max Gibson

Cambions have a long history with the church, for good or for ill. Rome's traditional open-door policy (established at the First Lateran Council in 1123) has meant that those cambion children not abandoned to the wilderness, aborted, or killed at birth nearly always make their way into the auspices of the church, up until only recent decades. While the pulpit loves upholding this as an act of charity and of undermining the influence of the Enemy, the reality is that it is mostly practical: cambions make very good exorcists.

When there's morally-compromising wetwork to be done, they send a cambion.

[Side note: Cambions are not half-demon, but the result of a cubus transporting sperm between a male victim and a female one (with relatively-rare cases of attack-triggered parthenogenesis). The supernatural properties imbued during transit grant cambions an instinctive awareness of demons and resistance to their influence, and a greater attunement to magic].

The last half-century has seen a paradigm shift in the cambion population. Where it was once near-unheard of to see one outside the church, it is now increasingly difficult to find one within it. Greater secular support and legal protections for both cambions and their mothers, combined with a more sympathetic public and a church embroiled in scandal, means that most cambions can support themselves on their own. Those who want to take up the traditional trade of exorcist tend to join secular organizations, as greater study of the supernatural has shown that religion has very little to do with the actual Powers that Be.

Many of those cambions who have left the Catholic church have joined together to found their own spiritual fellowship, the Red Circle.

HD: d8 (d6 flesh, d8 grit)
Saves: As cleric / mystic
Weapons and Armor: Cambions can use any armor and weapons.
XP: As cleric / mystic

Heritage Infernale: Cambions are immune to mundane fire damage, resistant to any damage inflicted by an embodied demon, and immune to seduction.

Ember Eyes: Cambions have grey-scale low-light vision. Their eyes glow in the dark like hot coals.

Leadfoot: Cambions are incredibly dense and heavy, as if their bodies are made of stone. They sink in water and cannot be moved or knocked prone except by significant force. (ie Creature HD > 1/2 cambion CON)

The Gitchy Feeling: Cambions have an innate sensitivity to the presence of demons and other spirits. This feeling can determine how many entities are present and how strong they are.

Applied Exorcism: There are three primary methods of exorcism at a cambion's disposal.

  • Blessed Lead: The cambion may prime bullets that will do triple damage to possessive demons. They may create and keep bullets equal to their level, each takes a full day to prepare. 
  • Drawing out the Devil: The cambion may entrap an incorporeal demon in an object. This follows the base mechanic of turning undead. If the cambion knows the demon's true name, they act as if three levels higher. 
  • White Sacrament: A lengthy ritual that allows a cambion and any allies to enter a pocket of hell, where they may strike at the blackened soul of a manifested demon and kill it for good. The cambion may sacrifice any number of hit dice (xd8 HP) as a bonus action to grant all allies the effect of Bless for that amount. All allied weapons are treated as holy for the duration of the Bless.  If the cambion is killed, the effect ends immediately and any survivors will be trapped in hell.



  1. This one was a struggle and a half, but it's finally in a place I am okay with.

  2. I really want to play a BPRDish campaign now. This is great.

  3. Oh, this is neat. Do you think there'll be similar classes that fit the same setting?

    1. There's some overlap with the Book Club Witch already, and I could finagle an EE adaptation of most other classes out there if I had the chance. Plus then there's the whole thing with organizational templates that can be applied to classes, more mystics and occult schools, all of that.

      So the answer is yes.

  4. Dan, If I may indulge myself for a moment, I have to say that I don't really like this. You see, I always found that the best type of magic in D&D and games like it is the kind that captures the innate weirdness and oddity of the situation. This is part of why I like GLOG casting, because it has a very high chance of causing something unexpected to happen, thus reminding everyone that the power of magic is not to be trifled with.

    That principle affects my view of this class in two ways. For starters, the fact that Tieflings don't have a Demonic/Devilish parent is uninteresting to me. That was always the best part of Tieflings, knowing that for some reason, their mom or dad got freaky with a Demon. that's just inherently interesting to me.

    The other problem is not specifically related to this class, but to what you wrote about exorcists. You said that religion had little to do with exorcism, which is something I find disappointing. As I said above, magic and the supernatural elements in a fictional work should work to bring awe to the players, to impress them, even in a small way. So to disconnect the act of driving out a malicious spirit from religion seems to me like sterilizing and normalizing an otherwise magical act.

    But that's just my opinion, of course. Do as you please.

    1. All fair criticisms. My reasoning is thus: for the particular demon lore I'm pulling right from the Malleus Maleficarum, more or less unaltered.

      As for the separation between religion and the exorcism, that's tied up in a lot of my own personal feelings regarding the function and place of religion, which tends to even out in games as "occasionally they will stumble across something that is actually correct, but not understand it as such."

      Which is to say that the exorcism works not because the church is correct, but because they stumbled across a working spell. What is actually true is plastered over with belief in things that aren't.

      Then it's just that a cosmologically-correct Catholic church is, on the whole, a step further in cosmic horror than I actually want to go if I want to still have any fun at all.

    2. I must say I like the original lore for cambions you went with! I always found the way in which 'cubi impregnated their victims pretty cool (and messed up). :D

  5. If exorcism normally done by a religious type, changing that is denormalising.