Tanar'ri, Babau

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Babau are tanar'ri, dreadful demonic horrors from the Abyss. They possess a large variety of supernatural powers of a decidedly 'evil' bent, along with several adaptations ideal for hand-to-hand combat, as well as an inherent knack for the use of almost any weapon.

Known Powers:

Tanar'ri Physique: the solitary babau are greater tanar'ri, powerful demonic creatures that hail from the infinite planes of the Abyss. Like all tanar'ri, the babau are truly planar entities, and possess these potent tanar'ric capabilities:

* Darkness: all tanar'ri have the ability to share the inherent darkness of their very souls with the world at large. This rudimentary power functions at but rank value 4, but basically 'blacks out' the sector a babau currently occupies (it works within Near range).

* Damage Reduction / Cold and Magic: though they are not immune to the effects of cold or magic, babau are considerably resistant to these attack forms. When exposed to any such damage, a babau may reduce its intensity by 2 RS - before any other defenses apply.

* Damage Reduction / Physical Attack: on top of the above, babau are incredibly tough against most conventional assaults you'll encounter in the Abyss, despite their frail appearance. They benefit from 1 RS of damage reduction against physical attacks of all kinds.

* Dimensional Transit: in addition to being able to teleport, tanar'ri can transition themselves between planes of existence. They may do so with rank value 10 ability, though on a failed ACT roll dimensionally transiting tanar'ri may be subject to error, per a failed teleport. *

* Infravision: many of the Abyss' countless layers are dark beyond mortal ken, and have never seen the light (physically or otherwise). As such, all tanar'ri have evolved the ability to see by heat as well as by visible light, and can do so with rank value 10 ability.

* Invulnerability to Fire, Electricity, Heat, and Poison: the tanar'ri are hardy creatures - they have to be to survive at all in the endless, horrific wastes of the Abyss. Their forms have evolved over time to give them complete immunity to fire, electricity, heat, and poison.

* Portal Sense: planar beings all, babau have the ability to perceive the various rifts that dot the planescape of the multiverse. Most of these doorways are invisible to the naked eye, but all babau can spy them with ease, doing so with rank value 20 ability.

* Telepathy: almost all tanar'ri are able to communicate directly from mind to mind - a vital skill when so few speak the same tongue. They can usually broadcast and receive thoughts at rank value 6, enough to get their point across when necessary.

* Teleportation: chaotic creatures all, the tanar'ri can bend space itself to their will. All tanar'ri possess the power to teleport with rank value 30 ability, and can avoid teleportation's usual side effects while transporting themselves within the same plane of existence. *

Annulment: in addition to their considerable magic resistance, a babau has the ability to completely dispel magic in its vicinity as well. Functioning at rank value 10, this spell-like power allows them to easily counter weaker magic used against them.

Attenuation: this dangerous ability allows the babau to enfeeble their opponents. If its target fails a Brawn ACT against this rank value 10 power, a babau can reduce its foe's Brawn score by up to ten points (with a minimum value of 2) for 1d10 turns.

Aura / Acid: babau skin oozes with a dark red, acidic slime. This corrosive substance can dissolve ferrous materials (swords and the like) with rank value 30 ability, but inflicts only -4 RS damage to any organic matter it comes in contact with (such as skin).

Claws: the babau have long, sharp claws with which to rend their foes. These terrible implements allow a babau to inflict its Brawn value in Slashing damage if it must, though it usually prefers to wield melee weaponry in battle whenever possible.

Disguise: this spell-like power allows the babau to superficially change their appearance. They may assume the form of any humanoid being, regardless of gender or other qualities, as long as they remain the same approximate size (no size change greater than 50 percent).

Emotion Control / Fear: babau have the power to induce artificial, supernatural fear in an opponent, per the spell. Any one target the babau chooses will cower in fear for 1d10 turns upon application of this power, if he or she fails a Willpower ACT against this rank value 10 power.

Flight: unlike many winged tanar'ri, babau can fly without the benefit of 'superfluous' appendages. They can supernaturally lift their bodies with their minds, moving about at 109.09 miles per hour (rank value 10), doing so for as long and as far as they wish.

Horn: babau all have a long, thick horn issuing forth from the back of their heads. They can use this oversized barb to inflict their Brawn value in Slashing damage if necessary, though as is the case with their claws, they prefer melee weaponry if it's available.

Object Warming: all babau have the power to specifically induce artificial heat in a ferrous object. Metal so heated will inflict rank value 10 Energy damage upon anything it touches, though this heat dissipates immediately if the babau stops concentrating on it.

Summoning: once per day, a babau may attempt to summon forth fellow tanar'ri to aid it, with rank value 10 skill. A red ACT brings forth one to three cambion, a blue ACT summons forth four to six cambion, and a yellow ACT roll will make manifest another babau.

On the other hand, the babau have the unfortunate distinction of being monitored by the true tanar'ri. At the beginning of any attack upon a babau, make a summoning power ACT. If the result of this die roll is yellow, a true tanar'ri (Gamemaster's choice) will appear to aid it.

Telekinesis: babau may impose their desires upon objects in its vicinity, a true example of mind over matter. They may only do so with rank value 10 ability, but this allows the creatures to move 400 pounds of matter just by thinking about it!

Natural Psionics:

In addition to the above, considerable array of supernatural powers, babau are also equipped with natural psionic abilities. These capabilities will vary from babau to babau, but will usually be of either a metapsi, psikinetic or psipathic bent, most often being destructive in nature.

Limitations / Enhancements:

Susceptibility: like all tanar'ri, babau are weak against the use of cold-wrought iron weapons, as well as holy water and weapons. Their supernatural defenses are ineffective against such assaults, which inflict at least a quarter of their maximum Health in damage.


Melee Weapons: the babau usually carry at least one weapon on them at all times, though lesser instruments don't survive their corrosive body coating long. They can wield such weapons to inflict their Brawn value +1 RS in Bashing or Slashing damage (depending on its nature).


Unattractive 3: babau are hideous, almost skeletal demons! Mortals react very negatively to babau, even before you consider their fear powers, and babau are at a -6 RS to all NPC reactions when interacting with humanoid beings of any kind (even weaker tanar'ri).


Stealth: babau are well-versed in the fine art of not being noticed. On top of their disguise ability, they can easily move quietly through almost any terrain, inflicting a -1 RS penalty against anyone trying to notice or track them while on the move.

Weapons Master: a skill that would make them ideal for participation in the Blood War, this skill showcases the babau's inherent mastery of melee weapons. They can wield any such item at no penalty, and often specialize further in a specific weapon type given the time.


Babau are driven to fulfill their given function, that of filling the ranks of tanar'ri armies for use in the Blood War. They do this both out of a hatred for the baatezu as well as a desire to avoid combat on the front lines - which is where they wind up if they don't find enough 'recruits'.


The babau are tall, unnaturally gaunt figures. Standing seven foot tall, they seem almost skeletal in aspect, their blood red flesh readily showing their bones. They have an eerie red glow in their eyes, the usual tanar'ri claws, and a large, pointed horn sticking out the back of their heads.

Ecological Niche:

Babau are integral to the tanar'ri's participation in the Blood War, for it is they who assemble the rank and file of tanar'ri armies via their aggressive recruitment techniques. They slay those who resist too vehemently, and leave subsequent deserters to the chasme.

The babau travel alone, seeking out tanar'ri (and foolish mortals in the Abyss) while attempting to avoid attention, and make use of their skills and powers to do just that. They are powerful, but are often ambushed by various least and lesser tanar'ri who despise their conscription efforts.

But considering that they wind up as standard bearers if they're not good at their job, can you blame them?

Babau most often come about as less powerful tanar'ri rise to this form and station, often having been participants in the Blood War themselves at one point. Less often, they spontaneously manifest on the plane, or are the result of breeding between tanar'ri of some sort.


* Depending on which version of the Planescape lore you wish to use, the babau (along with the rest of the tanar'ri) may not have access to these powers any longer, having lost them due to yugoloth meddling. Their presence is at the discretion of the individual Gamemaster.

Extra Goodies:

Tanar'ri, Babau 4C System: Edition 13 Text File Download

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