D&D 3E/3.5 Working with the Half-Fiend Template


Hi All,

I'm looking for clarification on how the half-fiend template (Half-Fiend :: d20srd.org) works as it applies to a human npc/pc. For the list of abilities below, is the HD based on the base creature (human with 1 HD) and therefore limited to Darkness 3/day or does the half-fiend human gain the additional abilities as he or she goes up in level say taking levels of wizard, fighter, whatever? I'm assuming if you apply the half-fiend template to a monster with more than one HD you reference the HD listed in the chart and that's what the half-fiend gets. The half-fiend has a LA of +4.

Background: I'm converting a 1E Alu-Demon npc with levels in magic-user to 3.5. I'm also looking at the bloodline levels, maybe building an alu-demon class using Savage Species (3.0), via Monster Manual (3.5) or possibly the Fiend-blooded prc from Heroes of Horror. For monster class levels I'd use the Alu-Demon from the Tome of Horrors. There are lots of ways to pull this off, does anybody have some advice on which you would prefer in building this npc?


Darkness 3/day​
Poison 3/day​
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


The abilities work off of Hit Dice. When you gain levels in Fighter or Wizard or whatever you gain Hit Dice.
So, Yes a Fighter 10th level Half-Fiend will be able to cast Contagion (as well as other abilities) as a spell like ability.

Whichever way ends up being closer to the original I suppose.


I generally interpret Hit Dice from these things as Creature Hit Dice and not the class levels added on top of the Hit Dice. So a Human Half Fiend has X powers, not X powers that increase as levels increase. This makes narrative sense to me that a half-fiend template would always be the same when placed on the same species. Generally I see these things as tied to underlying nature of the base creature, not learning to harness power as you go that changes in an individual over time as they gain experience.

There is support for ruling otherwise though.

In the Improving Monsters Section it says:

Monsters And Class Levels​

If a creature acquires a character class, it follows the rules for multiclass characters.

The creature’s Hit Dice equal the number of class levels it has plus its racial Hit Dice.

From a rules mechanics basis this can make conceptual sense as you want the template's CR and LA to be a reasonable match for the increased powers at both low levels and high levels so a High LA one that can potentially be giving up higher level spells should be gaining something comparatively decent at higher levels to match the mechanical benefits given up when instead of casting ninth level spells you are casting 7th level spells tops at four lower caster levels.

An Advertisement