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Exorcism Enhanced, Part 3

Exorcism Enhanced, Part 3


Channel Energy

Although exorcists do not channel energy, they often have allies that do.

Channeling is useful against possession only if the channeled energy is focused exclusively on the possession victim and no one else. This requires the channeling character to hold a holy item in physical contact with the victim throughout the channeling. If contact is broken, the channeling ends.

If channeling is maintained for multiple rounds without interruption, it weakens the demon. For every 2 continuous rounds of channeling, the demon suffers a cumulative –1 sacred penalty to all saving throws and skill checks. This penalty lasts 1 hour after channeling ends.

The turmoil of holy and unholy energy meeting within the victim’s body causes intense pain. Even cooperative victims uncontrollably thrash and squirm. In addition to pain, the clash of energies sometimes does actual harm to the victim.

1d20 Effect on Victim
1–5 Victim must make a DC 4 Fortitude save each round or both victim and demon fall unconscious for 2d6 rounds.
6–7 Victim receives burn damage as if the holy item is hot, 1 point per round. An impression of the item’s surface may be branded onto the victim’s skin.
8 After a delay of 1d4 rounds, victim receives corrosive damage as if the holy item is drenched in acid, 1d2 points per round.
9 After delay of 1d4+1 rounds, holy item delivers a single 1d6  jolt of electrical damage to the victim.
10–19 No additional effect.
20 GM’s choice: Select an effect or invent a new one.

Demons are not helpless against channeling. Every 1d4 rounds they can release a burst of demonic hatred focused on the channeling character’s holy item. The channeling character must make a DC 15 Willpower save to deflect this energy. If successful, the item is unaffected and channeling continues uninterrupted. If unsuccessful, consult the following table:

1d8 Result
1 Item is forcefully hurled away.
2 Item is forcefully hurled away and becomes tainted.
3 Item breaks as if struck.
4 Item crumbles, as if very old or drenched in acid.
5 Item bursts into flames, causing 1d4 fire damage to both channeling character and victim. Fireproof items survive the flames undamaged.
6 Item is unaffected. It was protected by the holy energy coursing through it. Channeling continues uninterrupted.
7 Item appears unaffected, but has become tainted. Channeling appears uninterrupted, but the holy energy is no longer reaching its target.
8 GM’s choice: Select a result or invent a new one.

Tainted items appear unharmed at first glance, but subtle alterations to the markings or words drastically change its meaning. Tainted items are useless for channeling or divine focusing.

Make a Joyful Noise

Demons despise the sound of prayer. In cases of possession, the sound of people praying inflicts suffering and weakness upon the demon, causing a –1 penalty to its saving throws and skill checks.

To be effective, the prayers must be clearly audible to the demon. The demon’s weakness vanishes immediately when the prayers are no longer clearly audible. Naturally, demons do their best to silence or simply drown out prayerful voices.

New Spells

Carcerem in Carnem

School transmutation
Level inquisitor (exorcist only) 3
Casting Time 1 minute
Components V, S, DF
Range touch
Target one (possessed) creature
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

The target’s body becomes a prison for all souls or spirits currently inhabiting it. Exorcisms automatically fail, and demons cannot voluntarily end their possession by leaving the body. Imprisoned souls/spirits are released only by the death of the target’s body.

Some exorcists care more about defeating demons than they do about saving victims. Exorcists use this spell to trap the demon so it will share the victim’s death when the victim is slain.

This spell also protects the target from soul-extracting magic such as magic jar.

Dormientes Spiritus

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]
Level inquisitor (exorcist only) 4
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, DF
Range touch
Target one (possessed) creature
Duration 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

The target’s spirit is rendered unconscious, allowing the possessing demon to take control. Early-stage possession becomes advanced-stage possession until the spell ends.

This spell does not force a demon to manifest itself; it simply provides an opportunity. Most demons will leap at the chance, but some must be coaxed.

If cast upon someone who isn’t possessed, this spell acts as a deep slumber spell.

2 thoughts on “Exorcism Enhanced, Part 3”

  1. You’ve done an excellent job with these articles. Thank you! However, I still am curious about other materials or actions:

    * What about holy water (or holy dust, incense, etc)? Will it have a beneficial effect on an exorcism?
    * Are there any herbal or alchemical concoctions that may help/hinder an exorcism/possession (e.g. St. John’s Wort, cold iron, powdered silver, the tears of a saint, etc)?
    * Do thaumaturgic circles or other magical inscriptions aid the process of exorcism?
    * Would other magic items have enhanced effects on a possessed target (e.g. weapons with the disruption trait, holy avengers, blessed weapons, etc)?
    * Could a manifesting demon bypass or break existing mind-affecting spells on its host (hold person, for example)?
    * Would an exorcism be effective against a wizard’s or priest’s magical domination of a victim?
    * Can a possessed individual be turned as lower planes creatures can be turned by high level priests?
    * Can more than one demonic presence reside in one body?
    * Would outer planes creatures ever possess a body to work their will through it?
    * Would a willing victim (for instance, a cultist or priest) impose a penalty on the exorcist?

    As I said, you’ve given us great material to work with. I’m just trying to better understand the boundaries. Thank you for an exceptional article.

  2. Charles Lee Carrier

    Glad you’ve enjoyed them! :)

    1) Yes, I think holy water and the like should have an effect. Maybe a table that has several beneficial entries (things like “demon cowers away and negotiates for relief from the incense fumes”) and a couple of non-beneficial items (“demon becomes enraged”, etc.).

    2) Hadn’t considered herbal/alchemical items, but that is a great idea! I like it.

    3) I had wanted to include some notes on this, especially since magic circles were used very effectively against demons on the TV show “Supernatural”. In the end I elected not to because of word count – the article was super-long already. However, I heartily endorse this idea.

    4) Magic items and weapons that are specialized for use against demons should certainly have an effect on exorcisms. However, I would keep the effect small so as not to steal the exorcist’s glory.

    5) Oh, this is good one! Yes, I think a manifested demon could bypass the mind-affecting spells on the victim. The spells would still be on the victim, but they wouldn’t affect the demon or interfere with its ability to use the victim’s body.

    6) As long as the spirit of the wizard or priest wasn’t inhabiting the victim, I don’t think an exorcism would be effective. However, if the attacker has physically “inhabited” the victim, well… I’m not sure. Probably exorcism would be effective, but the demon-specific parts wouldn’t function.

    7) After the demon has manifested, I think they would absolutely be vulnerable to turning.

    8) Oh yes! The only reason I didn’t write anything about multiple-demon possession was wordcount (as mentioned above, the article was already growing out of control).

    9) Yes, I certainly think other outer-plane creatures can cause possession. They just don’t do it as often as demons, so demons take all the blame. :)

    10) Good question! Yes, I think a willing victim would impose a penalty – possibly a severe one. Part of the exorcism might revolve around getting the victim to change his or her mind about hosting the demon.

    Thanks for your interest! I really liked these questions. :)

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