WotBS Feaster of Flesh and Fun

Bill T.

The 3.5 version of The Tears of the Burning Sky says, "The trapped soul can take no actions other than to scream horribly as it is consumed." In other words, with a single hit and a failed save, one character gets shut out for the duration of the encounter, barring the casting of a spell from a small set that none of characters are likely to use even if they thought to take one. At least hold person grants a saving throw each turn.

Offhand, my inclination is to simply not use this attack at all, unless I can inflict it on Clan Millorn or one of the heroes' pets. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to modify the ability in a way that keeps the player involved?

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It's a lightly retooled Devourer: Devourer :: d20srd.org

Game design back then was of the opinion that if a 'save or die' effect required two dice rolls, it was fair. Phantasmal Killer had both a Will and Fort save. And Devourers had both an attack roll and a Will save.

I actually made the WotBS version marginally less awful because the monster doesn't cast confusion, and the death ward restriction doesn't exist on the original. But yeah, it's not a well designed attack.

If you modify it, you could just use the Pathfinder version that hits for a lot of damage but only sucks you in if that damage kills you: Devourer – d20PFSRD

Or you could make it just suck someone in as an action (save negates), which does damage immediately and each round. But then either let the PC make saves to escape, or have it work like being swallowed by a big monster, so the PC can cut their way out.


You might like to crib some parts from the 5e version. The feaster consumes the soul to use its abilities, and the trapped creature can repeat the saving throws, albeit with disadvantage.

Bill T.

Thanks for the great ideas, both of you. I'm partial to the "swallowed whole" approach -- there are some neat visuals I think I can decorate it with.

Another idea that came to me while playing yesterday's session (we're in the "assassination" encounter inside a so-called secure shelter, and the wizard succumbed to a pair of blows from Reddengot): If the feaster were to hold off on its attack until the target is low on hit points, then it's actually a "save or live" attack, as the hit die drain is separate from the hit point damage. And on the flip side, the feaster can use the attack if it needs to cast inflict wounds on itself.

Time to write it up!!

Bill T.

Well, after all my fuss and bother, it turned out to be totally irrelevant -- Basel cast haste, Dämmek opened the door, won initiative, hit it four times with the Living Bludgeon of Innenotdar, and rendered it inert before it got a chance to act. It was the most boring combat I've ever run. But at least it was quick!

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