When I first kicked up this blog back in late August 2018, I was going through the 5e Monster Manual in alphabetical order, creating new variants for each and every monster present. And I did pretty well, too, getting all the way through the As and Bs in the first 14 days or so. But then I hit a wall with Cambion. Maybe it’s because I don’t use a whole lot of devils/demons in my own campaigns, or I was just having a total creative brain fart, but I had trouble coming up with a cool variant for these.
What is a cambion?
A cambion is the offspring of a fiend, usually a succubus or incubus, and a humanoid. They often look like classic devil/demon archetypes: horns, leathery wings, tails, and red or dark skin.
The demon lord Graz’zt is responsible for a whole bunch of Cambions, too, as he’s the “getting jiggy with it” demon. Those particular cambions tend to have black skin, cloven hooves, six-fingers on each hand and are super attractive.
How do cambions fight?
When it comes to cool monsters with lots of options, the best place to turn for tactics is Keith Ammann’s blog, The Monsters Know What They’re Doing. And since the cambion is loaded with a bunch of cool powers, Keith made sure to create a great article on cambion tactics.
Here’s a rundown of Keith’s explanation of the cambion (but make sure you read the full article for more cool details):
- Cambions are shock attackers. They move fast and hit hard.
- When it comes to Wisdom saves, cambions are weak. So they’ll work quickly to dispatch spellcasters with mind-altering spells.
- With a quick fly speed and decent ranged attacks, resistances, and Armor Class, the cambion will favor flyby attacks, strafing with their spear (so long as the target isn’t wielding a magical or poisoned item), or keeping its distance with its fire rays.
- Cambions are intelligent and charming. Chances are, they’ll work to talk their way out of situations that look beyond their physical capabilities.
- If things get too bad for a cambion, it’ll pop! out with its plane shift innate ability.
Cambion Champion for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
When a cambion proves its worth to its demonic/devilish parent, it is awarded the title of champion and given permission to lead the armies of the Abyss or Nine Hells, respectively.
These cambion champions are considerably more dangerous and capable of leading hundreds of fiends into combat.
Medium fiend, any evil alignment
Armor Class 22 (half plate)
Hit Points 116 (20d8 + 80)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
Abilities Str 20 (+5), Dex 18 (+4), Con 18 (+4), Int 16 (+3), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 20 (+5)
Saving Throws Str +9, Con +8, Int +6, Cha +9
Skills Deception +9, Intimidation +9, Perception +5, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Abyssal, Common, Infernal
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)
Fiendish Blessing. The AC of the cambion includes its Charisma bonus.
Innate Spellcasting. The cambion’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17). The cambion can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
3/day each: alter self, command, detect magic
1/day each: plane shift (self only)
Magic Resistance. The cambion has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. The cambion’s weapon attacks are magical.
Multiattack. The cambion makes three melee attacks or uses its Fire Ray twice.
Wicked Glaive. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10 + 5) slashing damage, plus 7 (2d6) fire damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom save or become paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat its saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Fire Ray. Ranged Spell Attack: +9 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (5d6) fire damage.
Fiendish Charm. One humanoid the cambion can see within 30 feet of it must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed for 1 day. The charmed target obeys the cambion’s spoken commands. If the target suffers any harm from the cambion or another creature or receives a suicidal command from the cambion, the target can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a target’s saving throw is successful, or if the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the cambion’s Fiendish Charm for the next 24 hours.
Leadership (Recharges after a short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the cambion can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the cambion. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. This effect ends if the cambion is incapacitated.
Parry. The cambion adds 4 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the cambion must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.
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The cambion champion is free for you to use in your 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Just not commercially!
Art by Wayne Reynolds/Paizo Publishing.