My DM has allowed me to make a vampire / hexblade player character for our weekly game. Naturally, my character's motivations include betraying her old boss (vampire lord) and murdering him.

Her back story includes being raised, forgetting her old past as an adventurer (presumably tried to fend up a vampire attack and failed). She's not bound to the vampire lord who created her. He tossed her out to enslave more powerful minions. She's been dormant in a coffin for awhile and has reawakened.

My character's alignment is LE - she won't necessarily get her hands dirty most of the time, and may almost be helpful to resident humanoids if working with them helps her reach her goal. Part of this "not getting your hands dirty" business would involve not making her own vampire minions by force - ie it would be out of character for her to overpower a villager and bite / claw them. It's much more her speed to draw up some sort of incredibly evil contract, exploit psychological flaws, find willing and able-bodied would-be vampire soldiers to rope into her control.

The contract is the sort of thing you'd call up a LE outsider to work with. Literally a "deal with the devil." Promise an outsider the souls of anyone who betrays her (after a vampire tends to be an evil backstabber) - and agree to whatever else this business-suit devil has in mind.

My character is starting at level 13 (this is intended to be a power game with PCs starting out well above the easy-mortality line) - and has about 9k gold to her name. How do I set up this initial meeting with a LE outsider without having access to the gate spell myself?


6 Answers 6


Contacting a LE Outsider

There are several ways in the Player's Handbook to talk to or just hang out with a LE outsider for a while, however many methods are spells, and few of those spells are on your list. That's okay: your +4 to your Charisma score from being a vampire should be sufficient for Use Magic Device skill checks, even if the skill is cross-class. Otherwise, you'll either take the feat Leadership (PH 97) and hope for a spellcaster, pay for spellcasting services (PH 129), or use the dominate supernatural ability on someone who can cast the spells. Or, y'know, ask politely via the Diplomacy skill, ask impolitely via the Intimidate skill, or just lie via the Bluff skill to get the spells cast.

  • Contact a devil that's part of your character background via the spell sending [evoc] (PH 275-6). Invite him to chat over tea and murder. The sending spell is on your spell list and clerics get it earlier, so a used wand of sending shouldn't break the bank.
  • The spells lesser planar ally [conj] (PH 261), planar ally [conj] (PH 261), and greater planar ally [conj] (PH 261) can get you an audience for 1 hour for 500 gp per the allied creature's HD--which is expensive but not unreasonable. I am personally fond of the devilish barrister tracking billable hours.
  • The spells lesser planar binding [conj] (PH 261-2), planar binding [conj] (PH 261), and greater planar binding [conj] (PH 261) can get you an unwilling audience, but depending on what you're summoning a bargain might be reachable.
  • The spells commune [div] (PH 211) and contact other plane [div] (PH 212-3) get answers to questions, and the answers to the right questions (like, "Does this plan even have a chance of working?") will make your unlife easier.
  • If the DM balks at the feat Leadership, the feats Obtain Familiar (CAr 81) and Improved Familiar (DMG 200) combined get you an imp (MM 56) who can use as spell-like ability an effect like the spell commune for up to 6 questions 1/week.
  • In your character background become exposed to the spell commune or contact other plane and take the feat Omniscient Whispers (UA 93), letting you 1/week get a question answered as if with the spell commune.
  • Explore dungeons. Seriously. I mean, you'll probably do it anyway, but if the DM is using the DMG's Random Dungeon Encounters (78-81), at level 2 appears the imp (MM 56), upon whom you might impress the importance of casting commune on your behalf. Or keep exploring--at level 4 appears a barghest (MM 22-3), 5 a greater barghest (MM 22-3), and 6 an actual for-reals chain devil (MM 53). Given the right approach, all should be open to negotiation (although the former two might want to eat some sentients and the latter torture some, but you brought hirelings, right?). The deeper you go, the higher up the devil food chain you'll go.

If the DM says no to the sending, the planar ally route's the way to go. Explaining your plan to the called devil should at least pique its interest in spreading further evil.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Re: diabolical barristers tracking billable hours, there is at least some lore out there that has erinyes in particular explicitly filling this role. They can even be retained as a sort of “public defender” if I recall correctly—apparently they’re one of the few devils to lean more on their Lawful alignment than their Evil one. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 17, 2022 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Probably a good place to link to one of my favorite Frank & K creations, the prestige class barrister of the Nine. Approach with caution. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2022 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you recommend planar ally over planar binding? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Mar 17, 2022 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin In general, it's my opinion that there's less chance of something going horribly awry with ally than there is with binding. Further, I've found ally much more entertaining from the GM's perspective than binding. The binding spells are, like, "Hello, sir. Here's a menu. We've ice devils on special today," and ally is, like, "Your hellish majesty decreed that you are to be aided by me, Strafyknits, the advanced dretch bard, singer of sorrows and clearer of rooms! Now treat me respectfully and pay me my due!" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2022 at 11:35

Use summon monster, contact other plane, sacrifices, get an imp familiar, or play silly buggers with truename rituals to have a chat.

Summon Monster via the Infernal Hierarchy

There are a few ways to do this, though most of the easy ones are outside the scope of a vampire hexblade. The rough strategy is to get an imp summoned and spend the time the imp is around going "I would like to offer your master a deal, bring him a message?"

There are a number of imps listed in summon monster 4, and if played true to their alignment, should be more than happy to facilitate damned souls to the hells.

The real trouble is summoning the same imp a second time. Still, with sufficient knowledge (the planes), it should be quite doable.

Contact Other Plane with "Billy Mays here, have I got a deal for you..."

If you weren't a vampire, hexblades at level 14 get Contact Other Plane, which does what it says on the tin. You will, unfortunately, have to shell out for a scroll. Your questions are basically "yes/no" questions of "would you like to make a deal?" It's kinda sketchy, but any devil worth their salt will send around a personal rep if they like your style and you manage to get a good contact with them. At this point, I am forced to note that there are classes out there that specialise in this sort of thing and that a hexblade is not one of them.

As a hexblade, make sure to throw in the free toaster when giving your offer.

Villager Sacrifice

With sufficient hamsterssacrificed, you can get a limited wish. It's book of vile darkness, so your milage may vary (though as a vampire/hexblade, you've pretty well committed to this route.) Obviously, you would want to max your sacrifice roll (a question for another question), but if you do, at level 13, getting a limited wish isn't hard at all.

At this point, negotiate with your DM for the wording of your limited wish, as a function of your knowledge(planes) and his desires for the campaign. If necessary, use this in combination with the previous step to plane shift to the appropriate level of hell to consecrate your contract with whomever you spammed with your contact other plane. Since this effort is, effectively, backstory, its success or not is entirely DM fiat.

If your roll is good enough, you might be able to pull off a genuine wish, and use that to gate in an imp.

More imps, more time.

You qualify for Obtain Familiar (complete arcane), and Improved Familiar (imp) at hexblade/7. Use this familiar to intercede for you with its masters, as above. Since imps can commune once per week, you can use it to very slowly negotiate a contract with its infernal masters that suits your DMs taste.

Truename silliness

With the right set of truename feats and enough time in libraries, you'll be able to find a true name for a devil of your choice. Use this in conjunction with a hired summon planar ally to call your friendly devil every so often. Pay him in sacrifices and he'll reward you as the DM sees fit.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Fun fact on Contact other Plane and devils: "To seduce mortals into contacting them, the archdevils make such contact easier. A spellcaster need only succeed on a DC 10 Intelligence check to avoid losing Intelligence and Charisma, but answers are resolved as if he had contacted a lesser deity." - Fiendish Codex II p. 29 \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    Jan 12, 2014 at 0:28

Go to Sigil

In the planescape setting, the city of Sigil is a hub for all kinds of creatures. It would be relatively easy to find a contact to one of the Nine Hells of Baator, the plane where the devils reside. You might even run into devils on the street, or in a tavern in Sigil. Of course, you could also attempt to travel to the Nine Hells directly, but that might be even more dangerous than just going to Sigil.

The easiest way to access Sigil is DM pity in the form of a conveniently placed portal. However, a vampire has lots of time (immortality), and might be able to research portals using Knowledge(Planes).

Some magic items might also help - Planar Handbook p83 lists the gate compass (2500gp) and the greater gate compass (10000gp).

This item looks like an ordinary compass. Instead of pointing to true north, a gate compass points to an area envisioned by the holder (or to the nearest portal leading to the area). It has the same chance of being on target or off target as if it were casting a teleport spell.

The greater version always points correctly to the desired destination.

Of course, all those options require that there is a Sigil and the planescape cosmology in your campaign. Therefore (as usual) the first option should be to talk to your DM.

Alternatively, you can find some additional options in the Planar Handbook to try your luck directly in the Nine Hells of Baator. On page 74ff, there's a table called 'Services', which prices a 'bought' plane shift casting including the return at 900gp. 'Gate' is also in that table, priced at 1620gp. Or you could try to hire a planar guide.


Find some crossroads at midnight.

A familiar myth, but it actually works in D&D. The subject of making a deal with a devil is covered in the Fiendish Codex II, under the name of Faustian Pacts.

When it comes to initially establishing a meeting, the FC2 does not make it seem like it is very difficult. From page 23:

Contacting a Devil

Harvester devils scour the earth daily for likely victims. Mortals actively seeking to sell their souls can find harvester devils in haunted places, at known diabolical temples and fortresses, or waiting near a crossroads at midnight. Occasionally, harvester devils set up shop in well-trafficked dungeons, hoping to ensnare the greedy, reckless adventurers who often plumb such places.

If you desire a less random encounter with a devil than can be had at a crossroads or in a dungeon, the book also covers devil-cults in the same section. It mentions that in Lawful Evil societies, they operate openly. In other societies, they exist but are hidden. How to ring the doorbell is not covered as far as I can tell, but the option is there.


Make an Adventure Out of It

Really all you're saying is that you want to interact with an NPC. Summoning one directly can be an effective shortcut, but you can also do what you do to find with any NPC:

  1. Use your skills or connections to help you locate the kind of character you're looking for. Try using Gather Information, a relevant Knowledge skill, bardic knowledge, &c.
  2. Go talk to them.

In the case of demons and devils, there are probably some stuck on the material plane, either straight-up imprisoned somewhere or bound into service by some evil wizard. Go track one down based on rumors and legends, and then use your adventuring skills (e.g. breaking magical things and killing people) to set it free.

Helping the poor devil will hopefully give you a bit of a leg up in the subsequent bargaining. (Or you'll choke on your own hubris. Good times either way!)


Can you spend a level on a dip? Because if you can, you could take a level in Binder class. One level should prove to be enough since you'll get your hands on Naberius Vestige which, among other neat things, allows you ALWAYS take 10 on Diplomacy rolls, even on rushed checks (which usually are made with -10 modificator). That's right - the LE outsider sees you, starts casting some mean deadly spell, you yell "HOLD ON!", and he holds on. At least, if you added to your "10" more than what, 5? 10? A maximized Diplomacy/Charisma should take care of that.
Oh, and Binder class is also all about "deals with otherworldy powers", so it's fluffy as well 8)

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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't seem to actually answer the question of getting access in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2014 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton It spends a bit more time talking about the specific item, but the base class mentioned does provide a means of contact from level 1. \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Jan 11, 2014 at 7:59

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