Companion Corner: The Demon Hunter’s Handbook

Companion Corner: The Demon Hunter’s Handbook

Demon Hunter's Handbook

Demons can be an absolute pain. From their fearsome supernatural and magical abilities to their brute strength and abject cruelness, it should worry us that this season will be have a good chunk dedicated to the Worldwound, where demons reign supreme.

So wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of Handbook that might aid in the hunting of demons?

This is the first of a series where I will be going through some of the newest Player Companion books, looking for items and abilities that would help a Pathfinder Society agent. I will be looking at items through the lens of organized play, and I’ll include a character build that uses some of the cooler aspects of the book. Today, as you might have guessed, will feature The Demon Hunter’s Handbook.

First Impressions

There is an amazing look and feel to this book; Paizo does an excellent job capturing the Worldwound. The entries on demons and demon cults can also help a lot in the understanding of the foe. Special mention goes to page 16-17 for Know Your Demons, which gives some very crucial basics for eight different demons. Keep that page with you all year!

Since we will be spending a great amount of time in the Worldwound, it would be a great idea to read the section covering it. There are suggestions for classes and archetypes that would befit those who are already experienced with demons, and traits that would benefit those who have grown up in the region. The more you know about the places your character goes, the better the playing experience will be. You can count on both being more immersed in the world, and can also feel a little safer with your knowledge of what you might encounter.

Moving on, here are some of the things in the book that stood out to me.

The Items

Some of these are really cool! Caltrop beads are an amazing twist on an underused item, and now they come in cold iron too! Anyone who doesn’t enjoy being charged by demons or anything else should get a few of these, as they are both faster to use and more dangerous for your foes. The holy fountain firework looks like a great low-level tool for dealing with undead, as it could be up to 10d4 holy damage if you can keep something pinned near to it. Lastly, azata’s whimsy is an interesting way of dealing with the very debilitating confused condition. It both lessens the effects of being confused (when you hurt yourself you do non-lethal damage, and your babbling inspires your allies like a 7th level bard!), and allows you to slip into madness as a free action for some of those buffs. Risky, but it could definitely pay off!

The Archetypes

Well, archetype. The cold iron warden is an excellent inquisitor. Its abilities do much to reduce a demon’s options, and doesn’t lose a lot in return; her abyssal scourge ability can force a demon to make a concentration check for its Spell-like Abilities, and demons do not traditionally concentrate very well! If you are considering an inquisitor for this season, this one would be rewarding.

The Feats and Abilities

Unfortunately, this falls short a bit. While there are some flavourful options (the option to punch out an enemy’s organ comes to mind), most of these come too late in the game or are too situational. A high level cleric might benefit from Outer Planes Traveller, and someone with spare feats could take Deskari as their Demonic Nemesis, but most demon hunting feats seem to already be available in other sourcebooks.

There are a few traits worth noting. Abyssal Eavesdropper and Demon Proof Mind are both excellent bonuses to most characters, and it’s quite easy to build a character who has grown up in the Worldwound for this season. Few others stand out for the purpose of organized play, although Elven Bitterness would be good for any enchanter that plans to ensnare evil outsiders.

The Magic

Unfortunately, none of the spells of Lost Sarkoris are currently legal for PFS. We can keep our fingers crossed though, because I really want to try out righteous blood!

A Paladin in the Worldwound

KalascroppedIn making a character to show off this book, I of course went with the easy choice. Kala the Redeemer is a fifth generation crusader who knows Deskari by name, and frequently makes use of her azata’s whimsy charm as she loses herself in the holy act of purging the Worldwound of filth. Click the picture for a link to Kala’s character sheet, and a special thanks to David Rogers for the art contribution!

While you can definitely build a demon-slayer without this book, why would you want to?

Adam
By Adam

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6 Comments

  1. Paul Jackson

    Paul Jackson - September 16, 2013, 12:54 pm

    Nice review. Thanks.

    I’m nissing something, though, Why would you ever WANT to be confused (well, except maybe REALLY wanting to do some PVP :and this lets you get around PFS rules 🙂 :-)). Its interesting flavour, admittedly, but it seems pointless

    • Adam

      Adam - September 16, 2013, 1:12 pm

      Azata’s whimsy turns the confusion condition into one that, while risky, does have some benefits. If you feel lucky, make yourself confused and hope for inspire courage, attack nearest being (gaining +1 to your attack if it’s a foe or -4 if it’s an ally), or deal only non-lethal damage to yourself.

      If I were in a situation where I couldn’t attack well, I might hope for the 25% chance of inspiring my allies. In any case, it’s a great way of turning a very harmful status effect into one that’s far less dangerous.

  2. sam_the_avatar

    sam_the_avatar - September 16, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Nice Art on Kala, and appreciate the build!

    Is there a reason she’s 2H’ing the longsword, vs doing ‘sword and board’? AC 22 is a bit low for a 9th level character.

    • Adam

      Adam - September 16, 2013, 1:41 pm

      25 while smiting, and 27 if she drinks her potion of barkskin first. Furthermore, as a character with access to a lot of self-healing, it actually benefits her party that she not be too hard to hit. Most mook enemies will be able to hit her about half the time. Buffed up with smite and possibly barkskin, she will hopefully be hit about half the time by a boss monster. Higher AC is dangerous for the squishies behind her!

      The longsword is the holy weapon of Iomedae, and also benefits from being usable in a grapple or with a caltrop bead or scroll in hand. That said, feel free to substitute a greatsword in there if the extra 2.5 damage per swing is important to you. If you prefer the AC, grab a light shield or buckler for a more defensive build.

  3. Kurthnaga - September 25, 2013, 6:12 pm

    Some sort of grading value, while arbitrary, may help distill your thoughts on the product into one grok able whole.

    • Adam

      Adam - September 25, 2013, 6:24 pm

      Are we talking a rating out of five or something? I’m sure I could try, although the books have reviews on Paizo for that. I have been mainly looking at it for its use in organized play.

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