Maldonado (CR 6/MR 2)

This transparent humanoid seems comprised of sloughing bluish mist with pale, anguished faces pressing to the surface in silent screams. It darts quickly from person to person, looming like a terrifying shadow.

Maldonado (CR 6/MR 2)
XP 2,400
NE Medium outsider (demon or devil, evil, extraplanar, incorporeal, mythic)
Init +7MF; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

Defense

AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +1 Dex, +1 dodge); mythic defenseMA
hp 71 (6d10+38)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +8
Defensive Abilities desperate survivalMA, incorporeal; DR 5/epic
Weaknesses body-dependent

Offense

Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +7 (3d6 plus 1d2 Strength drain)
Special Attacks improved malevolenceMA, malevolence, mythic power (2/day, surge +1d6), strength drain

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +9)
At will—seek thoughts (host only; DC 16)

Statistics

Str —, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 17
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 23 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Improved InitiativeMF, Iron Will
Skills Bluff +12, Intimidate +12, Fly +9, Knowledge (history) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (religion) +9, Perception +10, Perform (sing) +6, Sense Motive +7
Languages Common plus Abyssal or Infernal
SQ alter flesh, fiendish allegiance, incorporeal flight, pernicious possessionMA

Ecology

Environment any urban
Organization solitary or cult (1 maldonado plus associated humanoids)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Alter Flesh (Su) A maldonado can change its host’s face to the face of any creature it has ever possessed, as if using alter self. It can also turns its eyes an unsettling black and create words on its skin in Abyssal or Infernal (depending on which subtype it has from its fiendish allegiance ability). These changes immediately end if the maldonado leaves its host.

Body-Dependent (Ex) A maldonado cannot survive long without a physical host body. At the start of each of its turns, if it is not possessing a host it gains 1 temporary negative level. One negative level is automatically removed after each 24 continuous hours spent in a physical body or bodies; they can otherwise be removed only through use of the maldonado’s desperate survival ability.

Desperate Survival (Ex) A maldonado can spend one use of its mythic power as a free action to remove all negative levels from its body-dependent ability.

Fiendish Allegiance (Ex) A maldonado’s essence is similar to that of a demon or devil, and each has either the demon or devil subtype (50% chance for either for a neutral evil maldonado, otherwise demon for chaotic maldonados and devil for lawful maldonados). A maldonado knows Abyssal or Infernal, depending on its subtype.

Improved Malevolence (Su) A maldonado can use its malevolence ability as a free, swift, move, or standard action. It can attempt to possess a target within 5 feet without first succeeding at a melee touch attack against its opponent. So long as a formerly- possessed target is within 5 feet of it, the maldonado can automatically possess it again (no saving throw allowed for non-mythic creatures). As a free action, it can expend one use of mythic power to force its target to reroll a successful Will save to resist malevolence and take the result of this second roll. This otherwise acts as malevolence.

Incorporeal Flight (Ex) A maldonado can only use its flight when in its incorporeal form. When possessing a host, it uses the host’s movement abilities.

Malevolence (Su) As a swift, move, or standard action, a maldonado can attempt to possess a living humanoid creature. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th or the maldonado’s Hit Dice, whichever is higher), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the maldonado must succeed at a melee touch attack (whether in its own incorporeal form or while possessing another creature). The target can resist the attack with a successful DC 16 Will save; if the save fails, the maldonado leaves its current host (if any) and possesses the target. A creature that successfully saves is immune to that maldonado’s malevolence for 24 hours. If a maldonado’s host body is slain, the maldonado automatically leaves the host at the start of its next turn (see body-dependent). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Mythic Defense (Ex) The +2 natural armor increase from being a mythic creature increases the AC of a mythic maldonado’s host; when not possessing a host, the maldonado’s deflection bonus increases by +2 (included in the above totals).

Pernicious Possession (Su) A maldonado’s can attempt a caster level check to ignore an effect that would normally block or suppress possession, such as protection from evil. If the effect is a non-mythic effect, the maldonado gains a +2 bonus on this check. While possessing a creature, a maldonado’s malign essence is difficult to detect, as if it had permanent nondetection against divinations that would detect its presence. The DC to overcome this nondetection is increased by 2 against non-mythic divinations.

Strength Drain (Su) A maldonado’s incorporeal touch drains 1d2 Strength from its target. When possessing a host, its melee touch attacks, natural attacks, and unarmed strike drain 1d2 Strength in addition to their normal effects.


A maldonado is formed from the broken soul of a fallen celestial that survives by inhabiting mortal bodies in succession. Ages ago, there was a war among the celestial planes over the role and fate of mortal souls, determining whether mortals were to be considered servants of the good outsiders. Those who wished mortals to be subservient lost the war, and these rebellious angels were cast down, transforming into demons, devils, and other fiends. Some of these rebels were so wounded by the war that they were permanently crippled, denying them the ability to form physical bodies. These first maldonado’s were fragile, but with their strength nearly spent, they discovered they could wear a humanoid’s flesh like a piece of clothing, discarding it as needed when the mortal grew too old or outlived its usefulness.

Now these body-switching fiends dwell among mortals, using their powers to commit petty evil, corrupt innocents, ruin the names of good folk, and prepare the world for their stronger brethren in the Abyss and Hell.

In its natural state, a maldonado is a shadowy blue-gray shape in the air, its form writhing with the faces of the countless bodies it has used and abandoned. It can possess a victim in the manner of a ghost, becoming indistinguishable from the person whose life it has stolen. To confuse or intimidate other mortals, it can make its host’s eyes appear to be bottomless black pits, alter its face to that of anyone it has ever possessed, or cause fiendish writing to appear or vanish on its borrowed skin.

It can jump from body to body, leapfrogging hosts in pursuit of choice prey or to escape from someone who knows its secret. If expelled from a host (whether voluntarily, through the use of specific magic, or by the death of the possessed mortal), a maldonado is incredibly vulnerable, and it must quickly find a new host before it dissipates like smoke in a strong wind.

Because of this, it tries to avoid being alone, and even possessing one of two humanoids in a small area makes it nervous, for their deaths would force it to flee in the hopes of finding another body it could inhabit. This means a maldonado whose host body is confined to one space tends to be gregarious and talkative—despite its innate malice—as it hopes to draw potential hosts within touching range.

Driven by a hatred of mortals because of its loss in the ancient war, a maldonado enjoys tormenting humanoids in petty and cruel ways that its unusual powers make possible. A maldonado might start a fire in an inn, trap its host, jump into the rescuer trying to pull its host free, and leave in the rescuer’s body, abandoning its previous host to die. It might possess a noble hero, engage in illicit and criminal behavior, then abandon the host to imprisonment or execution—and because the hero remembers nothing of being possessed, their protestations of innocence are genuine, and all the more tragic for it. If a particular target is able to resist a maldonado (and therefore become immune to its possession for 24 hours), the creature may choose to stalk that victim, taking over the bodies of family and friends, putting loved ones in danger, and spreading rumors about the resistant target until the person’s life is ruined.

Ecology
A maldonado’s weakened incorporeal form is harmlessly sustained by its host’s life energy. As an outsider, a maldonado does not need to sleep or actually eat, but it usually keeps up the pretense of doing so when in a host body long enough. However, if taking time to eat is inconvenient or if it wants to punish its host, it might avoid sustenance for days, and when the creature moves on the host awakens in its own body ravenous and sleep-deprived with no memory of the intervening days.

Ageless and immortal, a maldonado might torment a particular person intermittently over the course of a mortal’s life (ruining celebrations such as weddings and births), or even follow their descendants through generations, leading members of that family to believe they are cursed. Like a vampire, a maldonado has all the time in the world to work its evil, and can disappear for a decade only to turn up again when its prey least expects it.

Maldonados are not known to reproduce in any conventional fashion. Powerful demons and devils can create new ones by tearing away most of a lesser fiend’s immortal essence until only the barest vestige remains. Some experts on necromancy speculate that a person conceived or gestated by a maldonado-possessed body may carry some of the creature’s evil essence, and if killed might arise as a new maldonado.

Habitat and Society
Most maldonados avoid their own kind, disliking the competition for host bodies, as only one can possess the same mortal at a time and that might leave one without a protective humanoid shell. They appear to instinctively be able to recognize each other when in a mortal host, and one quickly leaves once it realizes it is in another’s territory. A handful may work together under the guidance of a more powerful fiend, using their abilities to enact plans more quickly than they could alone.

Some maldonados enjoy founding demonic or diabolic cults, riding different minions over the course of a day or week. The minions usually consider this a blessing from the fiendish planes and work hard to be worthy of this “honor.” Depending on its own interests or those of its masters, a maldonado might allow such a cult to persist through generations of humanoids, or kill them all in short succession with a mass cult suicide or by encouraging them to throw away their lives against superior opponents. Most maldonados prefer to inhabit Medium humanoids, but some choose to corrupt giant races.

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