November 6, 2008

[4E] The Incubus - An Old Demon Made New Again

Last summer I wrote a three part series, "The Dead Queens of Morvena", about a curse that befell two sister-queens who had been betrayed by their king. The source of the curse was an ambiguous evil presence that had been driven out from The Fetheriun, but over time sought to return to its spawning ground. It was called Incabus, and is shown in the image at left [1].

Much to my surprise, a creature with (nearly) the same name was featured in Dragon #54 (October, 1981), it was titled "Incubus" by Craig Stenseth [2]. The Incubus was also featured later as a male version of the Sucubus in the index of the AD&D Monster Manual II, a creature that (not surprisingly) seemed to make many appearances in the AD&D Ravenloft Campaign Setting[3]. It should also be noted that the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting featured a cool half-demon race, the "Fey'ri", that was are the decendents of Incubus or Sucubus demons that mated with elves[4].

The original creation of the Incubus was excellent (simply a male version of Sucubus is a bit weak, in my opinion), so I thought I might adapt Stenseth's version to my concept of Morvena and update the stats for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. I present those to you below. Enjoy!

The Incubus
"Incubi in natural form appear very much like largish human males with these differences: Small horns project from the sides of the forehead; they have a large pair of bat-like wings extending from their back, and their hands are typically clawed; they usually dress in fairly expensive-looking clothes, and don’t usually use weapons."
-- "Incubus" by Craig Stenseth, Dragon #54 (1981)

Small elemental humanoid (demon)
L12 Solo Soldier / XP 3500
Initiative +10
Senses Perception +10; darkvision
HP 615; Bloodied 307
AC 30; Fortitude 27, Reflex 26, Will 24
Saving Throws +2
Resist 10/variable (2/encounter; see 4E Monster Manual glossary), insubstantial (see below)
Speed 6, fly 8

Action Points 2

Slam (standard; at-will): +19 vs. AC; 2d6 + 5 damage, the target looses one healing surge and the incubus can teleport up to 4 squares.

Rending Claws (standard; encounter): +19 vs. AC; 4d8+5, the target is weakened (save ends) and looses one healing surge. The incubus may also teleport up to 4 squares.

Forked Tongue (minor; recharge 4-6) • Psychic: Female humanoid targets only, Range 10, +17 vs. Will; 1d8+5 and the target is dazed until the end of their next turn and looses one healing surge.

Teleport (standard; encounter) • Arcane: The incubus teleports up to 12 squares.

Lagging Visage • Arcane, Conjuration: When ever the incubus teleports, it is considered to be occupying both its new and previous location simultaneously until the end of its next turn. At the end of any turn in which Lagging Visage expires, the incubus can chose either location (old or new) to coalesce.

Darkness (minor; at-will) • Arcane, Zone: Close burst 3, An aura of supernatural darkness surrounds the incubus until the end of its next turn. Darkvision is required to see within the boundaries of the darkness effect.

Shapechange (standard; at-will) • Arcane, Conjuration: The incubus can assume the form of any male medium-sized humanoid creature, complete with clothing and minor accoutrements. The effect lasts until the next use of Shapechange

Demonic Ether (standard; encounter) • Arcane, Conjuration: The incubus becomes insubstantial until it chooses to end this effect or the effect is dispeled. While Demonic Ether is in effect, the incubus cannot attack or other interact with the physical world other than by observation.

Alignment Chaotic evil
Languages Abyssal, Common
Str 22 (+12)
Dex 19 (+10)
Wis 19 (+10)
Con 22 (+12)
Int 19 (+10)
Cha 19 (+10)


[1] Image of the Incubus and the Nightmare is in the public domain: "Nachtmahr" painted by Johann Heinrich F├╝ssli in 1802.
[2] The correct spelling is Incubus. The word is from Late Latin incubus ( Latin incubo;
‘nightmare, one who lies down on the sleeper’). The Incubus is a male demon who would visit women at night and engage in sexual activity. This belief was commonly held during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. There were also female demons, called succubi who were believed to visit men.
[3] Incubus crops up as a "faceless villain" in the Ravenloft Campaign Setting supplements Carnival, Domains of Dread, and Forged of Darkness.
[4] 3E Monsters of Faerun supplement.
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