As Halloween week draws to a close, so too do a whole raft of great savings on Legendary Games products! Whether you shop from the Legendary Games webstore, shop.d20pfsrd, Paizo, or DrivethruRPG, there are savings everywhere!
As part of those deals, don’t forget to check out the FRIGHTFEST bundles – 11 great products for just 10 bucks – including bag #1, featuring Splintered Godhood from Legendary Games!
We should also point out that Mythic Monsters: Emissaries of Evil is now available in wide release, here at the Legendary Games webstore as well as at d20pfsrd, Paizo, and DrivethruRPG! We previewed several of the mythic powers of the mythic night hag, but today we are sending a long some fantastically frightful flavor text that tells you all about the dastardly maldonado, a body-jumping fiend of possession from the mind of guest contributor Sean K Reynolds!
A maldonado is formed from the broken soul of a fallen celestial that survives by inhabiting mortal bodies in succession. Ages ago, there was a war among the celestial planes over the role and fate of mortal souls, determining whether mortals were to be considered servants of the good outsiders. Those who wished mortals to be subservient lost the war, and these rebellious angels were cast down, transforming into demons, devils, and other fiends. Some of these rebels were so wounded by the war that they were permanently crippled, denying them the ability to form physical bodies. These first maldonado’s were fragile, but with their strength nearly spent, they discovered they could wear a humanoid’s flesh like a piece of clothing, discarding it as needed when the mortal grew too old or outlived its usefulness. Now these body-switching fiends dwell among mortals, using their powers to commit petty evil, corrupt innocents, ruin the names of good folk, and prepare the world for their stronger brethren in the Abyss and Hell.
In its natural state, a maldonado is a shadowy blue-gray shape in the air, its form writhing with the faces of the countless bodies it has used and abandoned. It can possess a victim in the manner of a ghost, becoming indistinguishable from the person whose life it has stolen. To confuse or intimidate other mortals, it can make its host’s eyes appear to be bottomless black pits, alter its face to that of anyone it has ever possessed, or cause fiendish writing to appear or vanish on its borrowed skin. It can jump from body to body, leapfrogging hosts in pursuit of choice prey or to escape from someone who knows its secret.
If expelled from a host (whether voluntarily, through the use of specific magic, or by the death of the possessed mortal), a maldonado is incredibly vulnerable, and it must quickly find a new host before it dissipates like smoke in a strong wind. Because of this, it tries to avoid being alone, and even possessing one of two humanoids in a small area makes it nervous, for their deaths would force it to flee in the hopes of finding another body it could inhabit. This means a maldonado whose host body is confined to one space tends to be gregarious and talkative—despite its innate malice—as it hopes to draw potential hosts within touching range.
Driven by a hatred of mortals because of its loss in the ancient war, a maldonado enjoys tormenting humanoids in petty and cruel ways that its unusual powers make possible. A maldonado might start a fire in an inn, trap its host, jump into the rescuer trying to pull its host free, and leave in the rescuer’s body, abandoning its previous host to die. It might possess a noble hero, engage in illicit and criminal behavior, then abandon the host to imprisonment or execution—and because the hero remembers nothing of being possessed, their protestations of innocence are genuine, and all the more tragic for it. If a particular target is able to resist a maldonado (and therefore become immune to its possession for 24 hours), the creature may choose to stalk that victim, taking over the bodies of family and friends, putting loved ones in danger, and spreading rumors about the resistant target until the person’s life is ruined.