Tanar'ri, Nabassu

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Nabassu are greater tanar'ri, demons of great power hailing from the Abyss. These monsters possess a vast amount of supernatural powers of a distinctly evil sort, along with a variety of physical modifications that make them supremely deadly against ordinary human foes.

Known Powers:

Tanar'ri Physique: the nabassu are the first form of greater tanar'ri, beings who have likely suffered (and inflicted like) beyond measure to get where they are. Nabassu are true planar entities, and possess these 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 nabassu currently occupies (it works within Near range).

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

* Damage Reduction / Physical Attack: similarly, nabassu are highly resistant to conventional, physical attack forms. While not as powerful as their resistance to magic, a nabassu can shrug off 1 RS of physical attack damage of any variety - even before their other defenses.

* 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, nabassu 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 nabassu 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 with rank value 6 ability, 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. *

Additional Limbs / Wings: nabassu possess large, leathery wings to complement their taut, leathery frame. These wings bear the nabassu aloft with rank value 6 ability, meaning they can soar about at a maximum speed of 81.81 miles per hour under favorable conditions.

Claws: the nabassu wield m.s. 30 claws on both their hands and feet, and can use either as they see fit. Nabassu may wield these hideous weapons to inflict their Brawn value in Slashing damage, assuming no better martial option at the moment.

Death Gaze (fledgling): the stand-out power of the fledgling nabassu, this ability allows them to hideously transform mere mortals. The target of a nabassu death gaze must pass a Willpower ACT roll against this rank value 10 magical beam or be transformed... into a ghast or ghoul!

This process takes days. Every day, the victim must pass a Fortitude ACT against this power or lose one rank value of such, until they reach rank value 0 Endurance. This process continues for ten days; if the target has not died by this time, they will recover (and are not transformed).

During this period, the victim is increasingly compelled by a desire to consume human flesh. This compulsion becomes a necessity after they die and rise again as a ghoulish monster, having been transformed into an undead creature that subsists solely on human flesh.

Fangs: like their claws, a nabassu may wield its fangs in battle to inflict their Brawn value in Slashing damage. This damage comes in the form of a painful bite, and helps a nabassu to quickly consume its victims to steal their power!

Intangibility (mature): twice per day, a mature nabassu may render itself completely immaterial. A nabassu in this state is nigh-invulnerable to mundane physical and energy attacks (rank value 50), though they are affected normally by the other six attack vectors.

Paralytic Field (mature): mature nabassu possess a powerful defense in the form of their paralytic field. This rank value 10 power works like the paralysis spell, only affecting everyone within Very Near range, and freezing its targets in place for 1d10 turns if they succumb to its power.

Regeneration (mature): fully developed nabassu are incredibly hard to dispatch, for they can quickly heal even the most severe of wounds. They regenerate with rank value 10 ability, meaning they will heal one lost Health point every turn.

Sound Control: nabassu wield a limited form of this power that allows them to dampen all sound in their immediate vicinity. Functioning on the Very Near range table, this rank value 10 power lets them silence everything within ten yards of their person.

Summoning (mature): three times a day, Nabassu may attempt to summon forth fellow tanar'ri, with rank value 10 skill. A red ACT brings forth 2d10 manes, a blue ACT summons two to five cambion, and a yellow ACT roll will make manifest another nabassu.

Similarly, they have an additional special power while in the Abyss. This lets them, without an ACT roll, bring from two to five ghouls or ghasts to their side, possibly being undead monstrosities that they themselves have created in the past, depending on their actions.

Vampirism: in both of their stages of development, a nabassu possesses this power - though it is expressed differently in each. In their fledgling form, a nabassu uses it to devour the body and soul of its victims, adding one point to their Melee or Brawn with each meal.

A nabassu may add ten points to each of these traits in this manner, and when they have absorbed the maximum amount of points in each, they are considered 'mature'. They lose their death gaze power, but gain several others in the process, 'trading up' significantly.

Once they are mature, a nabassu can instead drain a victim on touch, directly siphoning off their life energies to supplement their own. Nabassu wield this power at rank value 10, and can use the Health siphoned off from their foes to recover their own lost Health points.

Limitations / Enhancements:

Susceptibility: like all tanar'ri, nabassu 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: while they have powerful claws, a nabassu often opts to wield a melee weapon instead, for additional damage. They can carry such weapons to inflict their Brawn +1 RS in Bashing or Slashing damage, depending on the weapon's nature.


Unattractive 2: nabassu are horrible creatures. They loom over most mortals, being seven foot tall, with thin builds. They exemplify the 'traditional' look of demons to mortals, in an effort to better terrify them. As such, they suffer a -4 RS to mortal NPC reactions.


Stealth: even without their abilities to dampen sound, the nabassu are masters of stealth. They should impose a -1 RS to the Awareness ACT rolls of others to detect them, as they're able to move quietly and inconspicuously despite their form, and actively avoid being tracked.


The masses of nabassu are destruction incarnate. They rage and roil against anything and everything they can, both for the sheer pleasure of it and because it furthers their eventual aims in the Abyss. They are encouraged to terrorize mortals, and enjoy little else in their existence.


The nabassu has a sufficiently 'gothic' appearance. It stands seven feet tall, and is wiry and gaunt. Its leathery gray skin seems barely able to contain the wiry muscles beneath. They possess large, bat-like wings, as well as long claws on each appendage, and tusk-like fangs.

Ecological Niche:

Nabassu are greater tanar'ri, which sometimes occur through natural breeding, but are most often a result of lesser tanar'ri growing in power and 'evolving' to this state of existence. They can manifest spontaneously in the Abyss but this is somewhat unlikely for their kind.

They possess a curious susceptibility to being summoned, and a spell to draw forth demons, unless more specific in its targets, is most likely to collect one of them. Once drawn away from the Abyss, they do everything they can to escape their summoner, to rampage unopposed.

You see, nabassu live to spread the terror of the Abyss across the planes, to make mere mortals attach fear, dread and terror to the tanar'ri name. This belief fuels the tanar'ri's power throughout the multiverse, and is a tangential effort to ultimately win the Blood War.

Once free of a summoner, they kill and consume as many victims as is possible, body and soul, to increase their own power. Their aim is to maximize their growth to full maturity before they return to the Abyss, either to await additional summons or to ascend further.


* Depending on which version of the Planescape lore you wish to use, the nabassu (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, Nabassu 4C System: Edition 13 Text File Download

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