A good GM is one part entertainer and one part engineer. And, like a magician, you are only as good as your last trick. Players are like a savvy audience at a magic show—you aren’t going to wow them with the standard magic act. All too often, it seems like they’ve seen behind the curtain. So, when you apply templates to a monster, doing so can be akin to using a little of the magician’s skill at misdirection: The player expects to see the same old monster, but when he or she gets something unexpected, suddenly it’s magic!
In terms of templates, the advanced template can be applied quickly, and it adds challenge to the encounter, but it can fall short of instilling a sense of wonder, awe, or fear that a monster can bring to the combat. The young template applied to a monster outside the player characters’ CR can make for an exciting encounter, but it takes a deft hand to work with it in a way that doesn’t guarantee a total party kill. Also, you can apply the giant-sized template to make your monster bigger and badder in a way that’s more exciting than the advanced template, but then you’re faced with making it work for the story and campaign flavor that resides in each monster’s entry.
A great contrast to the civilized template is to make your next monster more monstrous. Join me after the jump for a handy way to customize monsters with a balanced approach. I introduce mutated monsters, the next rabbit to pull out of your old magician’s hat.
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.
Commandments are orders issued with special divine authority. Exorcists learn how to issue commandments as they study ways to combat demonic possession. When an exorcist issues a commandment, the possessing demon is compelled to obey (no saving throw).