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Cambion and "Alu-Fiend"
|Power source||Conniving, unnerving, frightening, brooding, self-assured, cruel, deceptive, perplexing, domineering|
|Editions||All Editions except Dungeons & Dragons 3.0|
|(as a standard class)||All Editions except Dungeons & Dragons 3.0|
Monster Manual II
|First appearance||First edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons|
For a general discussion of Cambions in the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game, see Cambion (Dungeons and Dragons).
Cambion are a class of demonic beings in the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. The creature is named for the Cambion. It is a creature descended from a fiend who are vile half-devil beings that are outcasts among both their parent races. The following information is about the Cambion race as a whole for the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition ruleset. It is followed by a brief history of the Cambion in the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game.
- 1 Description
- 2 Physical Qualities
- 3 Cambion Racial Trait Statistics
- 4 Playing a Cambion
- 5 Cambion History
- 6 Cambions Today
- 7 NPC Cambions
- 8 Cambions By Alignment
- 9 Cambion Adventurers
- 10 Cambion Racial Feats
- 11 Publication history
- 12 Description
- 13 Other publishers
- 14 Other media
- 15 References
- 16 External Links
Dark and brooding, cambions live as outcasts or devilish servants. They have a strong desire to prove to all that they are superior and worthy of respect and power. They can be found in either civilized locales or dark remote dungeons. In both places they tend to be reclusive, although many evil cambions enslave lesser beings to toil for them.
Play a Cambion if you want...
- To play a character that is bitter and hateful toward most creatures.
- To be a member of a race that are considered freaks and outcasts among most other races.
- To play a character who is ambitious and driven with a need to prove something to themselves.
- To be a member of a race that favours the Bard, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Warlord classes.
Cambions are infernal looking humanoids with deep black hair, although some are born hairless. They have dark crimson colored skin, with some deepening to shades of coal black, and eyes that glow with a reddish fire. Cambions sport both a set of horns and a large pair of black leathery bat-like wings. Their mouths are filled with sharp incisors and canines for eating meat. Being entirely carnivorous, they become physically sick if they eat any food other then meat. As a result, their bodies exude a ripe, predatory stench. While cambions are immortal they age just like a standard human until they reach the age of 20, at that point they cease aging. Although with their lifestyles and the general hostility others show toward them they seldom survive more then 1 or 2 centuries.
Cambion Racial Trait Statistics
|Average Weight||130–230 lb.|
|Ability Scores||+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma|
|Languages||Common, choice of one other|
|Skill Bonuses||+2 Intimidate, +2 Bluff|
- Infernal Origin: You are the spawn of a devil, so you have the devil and immortal keywords. You are considered a devil and/or immortal for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin. As well you may take feats, powers, or class paths that have tiefling as a prerequisite as long as you meet any other requirement the feat, power, or class path has.
- Trance: You do not sleep, although you are still susceptible to sleep effects. Cambions can enter a meditative state known as trance in order to gain the benefits from taking an extended rest. You need to spend 4 hours in this state to gain the same benefits other races gain from taking a 6-hour extended rest. While in a trance, you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.
- Fire Resistance: You have fire resistance equal to 2 + your Constitution modifier + one-half your level.
- Flight: You have black bat-like wings, that grant you a +2 to jump rolls and allow you to take half damage (minimum of 1) from falls.
- Diabolic Heritage: You have one of the following traits depending upon the power source of your starting class.
- Triumphant Surge: Cambions who have a starting class that draws from the Martial, Primal, Ki, or Psionic power sources gain 2 + their Constitution modifier in temporary hit points every time any non-minion enemy is bloodied or reduced to 0 hit points or less by one of their attacks during an encounter.
- Soul Mantle: Cambions who have a starting class that draws from the Arcane, Divine, Elemental, or Shadow power sources gain a +2 bonus to AC and Reflex defenses, against Ranged attacks, at Paragon levels the bonus increases to +3, and at Epic levels the bonus increases to +4.
Playing a Cambion
Cambions are the offspring of devils and depraved or unwilling mortals. Most cambions revel and excel in the art of deception, finding no small pleasure in tricking someone into doing something they would normally never think of doing. Many times female cambions are called "Alu-fiends", although regardless of the name others call them they have the same traits and abilities as their male counterparts. Cambions will sometimes pose as tieflings or other creatures, keeping their true heritage a secret. PC Cambions tend to be more controlled then then most of their species; keeping their darker desires under a modicum of control, although they still have a tendency to be self-centered and a want to prove themselves as superior to others (even their "friends").
Cambion Characteristics: Conniving, unnerving, frightening, brooding, self-assured, cruel, deceptive, perplexing, domineering
Male Names: Atozz, Dormundread, Landruu, Malaki, Curry
Female Names: Beshiba, Noxx, Shiva, Teremine, Pazzun
As the war between Arkhosia and Bal Turath reached its peak some of the tiefling lords of Bal Turath called upon their infernal allies to aid them in their struggle. A few found their cries answered in a very personal way. Several devils came to the “aid” of their transformed allies by offering to bring them closer to the powers of the Nine Hells by mating with them (or their wives) and birthing a being more powerful then either tiefling or dragonborn.
This was how the first cambions came into existence. Many of these creatures become powerful warriors and magic-users within the empire, but their vast cruelty and lust for power quickly earned them enemies among those that had first sought out their creation. Even as these creatures gained power and helped advance Bal Turath in the war, they tortured and deceived friend and foe alike slowly attempting to subjugate the empire and seize it for themselves.
Soon the lords of Bal Turath could tolerate no more, and they moved against their offspring. In an evening known as “The Righteous Purge” many cambions were struck down without warning by assassins. Others were hunted down in the following weeks as they fled, and a very few managed to escape and go into hiding.
Cambions that exist in the current times have several different origins; some of the cambions that escaped managed to mate with humans, tieflings, or even other cambions, others are born from mortals that have been unwillingly defiled by a devil, still others actually willingly give themselves to infernal creatures in hopes of obtaining greater power (or as the result of a twisted mental disorder), and even others are born because of tainted blood in their families past.
The few cambions that escaped “The Righteous Purge” spent many years hiding and fleeing from death. Of those that have managed to live to current times one or two of them have allowed themselves to interact with other species, and in the rare instance they may mate with another being. Cambions mating with tieflings give birth to another cambion 75% of the time (with a tiefling birth making up the other 25%), and cambions mating with humans give birth to another cambion 25% of the time (with a tiefling birth making up the other 75%). Aside from humans and tieflings the only other creature a cambion can mate with is another cambion, a truly rare instance indeed, and their offspring is always another cambion. The infernal blood that courses through them forever taints their offspring turning them into fiendish beings to one degree or another.
There are always stories of hapless mortals who find themselves at the mercy of an infernal creature, some are adventurers who fall prey to devils while traveling to the Nine Hells, and others are the victims of unholy rights or foul curses. Those that find themselves debauched by these evil creatures may sire or give birth to cambion offspring. These offspring have various fates; those birthed in the Nine Hells are raised by their infernal parents to serve them as loyal generals (although other infernal creatures despise and distrust these “half breeds”, they obey them out of fear of the cambion’s devilish parent), those that spring from the unholy rights of a cult are raised by the cult to further their dark goals. The few unlucky souls that find themselves drawing the attention of dark forces either by their own actions or by the pleading of another, and find themselves bearing a cambion child, may discard the child or seek to raise them in secret depending on the mortal parents initial reaction to the birth. If they sire a child the infernal parent will raise the cambion in hell as a slave, forcing them to live in fear from both their parent and the other native beings.
Both infernal cultists and the extremely mentally disturbed have been known to summon creatures from the Nine Hells, and sometimes the summoners will give themselves to these creatures for whatever purpose. If a cambion is created by this union it is raised by its mother. Those raised in hell are often trained to return to the Prime Material to carry out some twisted plot created by their infernal parent. The others that are raised on the Prime Material are reared to obtain a position of power, either as leader of a cult or some other organization. These cambions are often insanely revered by their families.
As cambions are almost as lustful as they are controlling, some tiefling and human bloodlines have been tainted at some point by past unions between a cambion and one of their ancestors. Because of this very rarely a cambion will be born to human or tiefling parents. Most humans see this some form of curse or punishment from the gods (unless they are aware of their nefarious lineage), while tiefling parents can be very accepting of their children. These few cambions are raised very much like every other member of their parent’s race. The path they follow is influenced by how both their parents and the community treat them, although they are still driven by a need to prove to everyone how they are superior to others. There have even been instances where the cambion bloodline manifests as secondary characteristics in their descendants (Devilish Lineage). These “demicambions” will have various cambion physical characteristics, although they are smaller and muted, often almost looking cute. Many even have small vestigial wings. Those that have a devilish lineage tend to be a bit mischievous and often have a healthy sexual appetite.
When using cambion NPCs they should have fly 8 as a standard form of movement. They do not require the Cambion Flight feat.
Cambions By Alignment
- Evil: This is the most common cambion alignment, and the default alignment for Monster Manual cambions. The generally cruel and domineering personality of cambions finds an easy home in the evil alignment. Even if they have another alignment most cambions will express one or two of the morality traits associated with the evil alignment.
- Chaotic Evil: Those cambions that are raised in a cruel or hateful environment most often become chaotic evil. They seek to inflict the same (or more) suffering they have endured, on any other creature they can. These are frightful psychotic beings who will spend large amounts of time dreaming up painful ways to maim and kill other creatures.
- Unaligned: This is the most common PC alignment for cambions. Knowing that few people are willing to trust them, unaligned cambions return the favor and are very self-centered individuals. They normally have strong evil tendencies, but attempt to control themselves so as not to attract negative attention.
- Good: Cambions that feel shamed or disgusted by their infernal heritage may try to find “redemption” by using their “curse” to help the weak and helpless. These good cambions will often adopt a vigilante attitude and choose an area or community to protect.
- Lawful Good: This is the rarest of cambion alignments. The strong domineering aspects of cambion personality lends itself easily to the concept of strong authority and rule. But a lawful good cambion must have a powerful personal or spiritual motivation to maintain their high ideals as those they would support treat them with distrust. Those that can’t deal with the disdain often become good, but still have strong tendencies toward order and lawful behavior.
Caliban is a cambion rogue. Abandoned at birth by his mother, he was raised by a group of sewer dwelling thieves who took pity on him. His young life was unhappy, as those who saw him saw only a monster, and even his adopted family could be mean and unforgiving. Now as an adult he finds himself convinced that regardless of his past, he is bound for some great destiny. Leaving the streets behind he has found a group of adventurers that he knows will help carry him on to his greatness. Even if they don't know they are doing it.
Aliisza is a cambion warlock who at an early age felt the call of her infernal heritage. Drawing upon those ties she forged her infernal pact with the dark forces in an attempt to overcome her true nature and actually do some good for the world. She has joined a group of adventurers who see the want to do right in her, and she hopes to be able to live up to those expectations and become a real hero.
Kaanyr is a cambion warlord. Raised in a small city by his mentally unsound mother, he joined the militia as soon as he could. Although disliked and untrusted by his peers he quickly proved himself in battle and enjoyed training beneath some of the cities best military minds. Still even those he called friends never seemed to truely trust him, so when he could he left the city and traveled to a small border town where beings of many races lived as a community. There he has joined a small adventuring company that appears to not only trust him, but seem to look to him for guidance. It is with these people he knows he will rise to greatness and gain a kingdom for himself.
Cambion Racial Feats
The following feats are exclusive to the cambion race.
- Heroic Tier: Hellfire Ray, Hellsword, Infernal Wrath, Soulscorch, Whirlwind Charge
- Paragon Tier: Cambion Flight, Flying Dodge
The cambion was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
The cambion first appears under the demon on page 37 entry in the first edition Monster Manual II (1983), including the baron/marquis cambion (semi-demon) and the major cambion (semi-demon).
A cambion named MacDaer appeared in Dungeon #13 (September 1988).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
The cambion appears under the tanar'ri entry in the Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix (1991), including the baron/marquis cambion tanar'ri and the major cambion tanar'ri.
The cambion tanar'ri was further detailed in the first Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994), including the same variants from the Outer Planes Appendix.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
The cambion did not appear in any official Wizards of the Coast products for third edition.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
The cambion appeared again in Necromancer Games's Tome of Horrors Revised PDF (2005).
The cambion demon returns to official Dungeons & Dragons products in Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (2007), including the baron and marquis cambion, which also presents the cambion as a player character race.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)
The cambion appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), including the cambion hellsword and the cambion hellfire magus.
The word cambion refers to a male "half-fiend", a cross between a fiend and another creature, often a human. The terms alu-fiend or alu-demon refer to its female counterpart. In the 3rd Edition, cambions are the offspring of a tanar'ri father and a planetouched mother, often a tiefling.
Iuz of the World of Greyhawk game setting is referred to as a cambion. He is the son of the witch Iggwilv and the demon Graz'zt. In addition to his human form of an old man, he can appear as a 7-foot-tall (7-metre), maroon demon with green eyes.
In the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, Cambions are the result of devils mating with mortal beings- usually humans. They look much like tieflings, but with the addition of functional wings. The title is also gender-neutral, rather than being divided into male Cambions and female Alu-Fiends.
The cambion appeared under the "demon" heading in the Tome of Horrors (2002) from Necromancer Games.
Two half-elven cambions, Isair and Madae appear in Icewind Dale II, as leaders of the Legion Of The Chimera.
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
- LaFountain, J. Paul. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. (TSR, 1991)
- Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
- Baur, Wolfgang, and Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel. Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)
- Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
- Baur, Wolfgang (2007). Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. Wizards of the Coast.
- Green, Scott (2002). Tome of Horrors, 72–73, Necromancer Games.