Assuming the Face of Evil
Fiendish power is a taint upon the realms, and so its power corrupts those who are strong in its power. As a fiend allows more of the energies of the Lower Planes to enter his body, transformations beyond his control alter his true form, forcing him to become an image of evil. The forms of the fiendish subraces are well known; balors and lemurs are easily recognizable in order to better signify their roles in fiendish society, but those who embrace the quintessential nature of fiendish existence can exhibit a wild and wide variety of forms. Some are merely permutations on a theme, such as succubus who has embraced the Sphere of Violation might merely be an emotionally distant ice princess, while a bone devil who has wallowed in his Brutish nature may exhibit the addition of anorexic wings to accompany an acquired ability to fly and colorful markings along his claws that denote their mutation into poisonous implements. Other fiends offer no such frame of reference, such the totally unique Demon Princes, symbols of fiendish power and might.
Some mortals gain fiendish power by bloodline or transformation, and these beings find that they pay the same price as a True Fiend. Having dabbled in fiendish power, most believed that they could embrace true evil without consequences; the truth is that fiendish power marks its bearers, displaying their nature and allegiance for all to see.
Game effects: Game mechanically, there is no reason for any demonic creature to look like anything. A gelugon could look like a planetar and aside from a little player confusion at the beginning, then any combat or non-combat situation would play out the same. This is a purely flavor model, and it reinforces the choice a player has made to become a Fiend. In this way, he’s getting the feeling of becoming a more powerful fiend, and the class and feat options aren’t just another power option. Once he’s leaving a trail of ooze or he’s hiding his scales in the local pub, he’s certain to feel like a fiend.
The system for these changes is simple: for every feat with the Fiend subtype you acquire, you choose one physical trait over and beyond any transformations these feats might grant or inflict, and for every Sphere you acquire you choose one mental trait. Feel free to create any new traits with your DM’s permission, but make sure that they are both obvious and disturbing. Feel free to disallow the choice of a trait if it overlaps another trait (like fur covering a change in color on a set of limbs).
Physical traits can be hidden with the Disguise skill or shape-changing magic or effects, and mental traits can be played off by using Bluff. Once someone has noticed a trait, they may make a Knowledge (planes) check to identify that a person is a Fiend. How they react at that point is up to them.
THESE ARE EXAMPLES, FEEL FREE TO COME UP WITH SIMILAR
- Drips slime or excessive dust wherever he goes
- A pair of appendages are of different color from the rest of body.
- Scales, fur, or loose/cracking skin cover arms, legs, chest, back, or face (no game effect)
- Has a stylized wound that never heals
- Gains non-functional horns, spurs, or bone ridges
- Small hump on back
- Body is feverishly hot or cold
- Drools incessantly
- Breathe steams in any ambient temperature
- Extra joint in fingers and toes.
- Sharpened teeth (enlarged canines, shark teeth, or some other style)
- Alien eyes(change in color, shape, or composition)
- Extra non-functional eye or eyes on face.
- Altered body proportions(longer or shorts arms, legs torso, etc) or size(large head, fist, etc).
- Apparently dying of a disease(choose a disease, but it has no game effect)
- Limb is rotted and skeletal (no game effect).
- Limbs have extra tendons.
- Gain non-functional wings.
- Hands resembles spiders.
- Smells of ash or brimstone.
- Hole all the way through body in the center of torso.
- Stand unnaturally still when not paying attention.
- Cloven feet.
- Tentacles for fingers
- Appears as if worms or bugs are crawling under skin.
- Plants droop when held.
- Extra ribs extend to pelvis
- Skin wrinkles when struck, and must be smoothed down.
- When sleeping, runes and glyphs press up from under skin.
- Holy symbols and holy water cause very mild burns(no game effect)
- Gaze lingers hungrily at acts associated with one’s Spheres.
- Cruel smile or laugh.
- Distaste for the company of good-aligned people
- Fondness for disturbing imagery.
- Seems pained or ill in good-aligned temples.
- Must taste the blood on his weapons after every kill.
- Displays no emotion at atrocity or other’s pain.
- Obviously enjoys the taste of bloody meat.
- Eat bugs when you think no one is watching.
- Only laughs when seeing others in pain.
- Must keep an unholy symbol in your possession, if possible.
- Appears extremely avaricious in the presence of exposed wealth.
- Becomes visibly excited when pain is inflicted on others.
- Seems in awe of more powerful demons.
- Must lie about one’s past, but only about unimportant details.
- Seems fearful and guilty in the presence of celestials.
- Bathes as little as possible.
- Must keep lair and possessions as clean as possible.
- Seems angry and resentful with given a command.
- Seems gloating and sarcastic when giving orders.
- Always asks to keep evil magic items or spellbooks with Corrupt or [evil] spells (can change mind as soon as one round later).
- Seems bored when morality is discussed.
- Seems happy during funerals and executions.
- Leers at any woman of child-bearing age or older.
- When confront by authority figures, always seems bitter.
- Seems angry when charity or help is offered.
- Seems to not understand respect for the dead.
- Is rude when asked for help or charity.
- Unable to show love.
- Unable to express appreciation.