I decided to convert an old favorite from Pale Designs: A Poisoners Handbook. I keep toying around with doing an update of this book, but I need to clear a lot off of my plate first.

Carnifex (CR 4)

XP 1,200

CE Medium-Size Outsider (Chaos, Evil)

Init +7


AC: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural)

Hp 22 (4d8 +4)

Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +5

DR 20/magic, low-light vision, regeneration 5, SR 10


Speed: 30 ft.

Melee 2 claws +6 melee (1d4+1), bite +1 melee (1d6+1), or by weapon (+5 base melee)

Special Attacks Poison, spell-like abilities

Spell-like Abilities (Sp) At will—delay poison, detect magic, hold person and shocking grasp. These abilities are as the spells cast by an 8th-level sorcerer.


Abilities Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 10

Base Atk +5; CMB  +6; CMD 20

Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (claw)

Skills Balance +9, Bluff +6, Concentration +7, Escape Artist +15,* Gather Information +6, Move Silently +9

Language Abyssal


Poison (Ex) Carnifex have developed a protective network of spines of various lengths that exist throughout their entire body just below the dermal layer. By will or if threatened, they can cause these spines to pop out and inject a neurotoxin that causes terrible pain in anyone struck by them (Fortitude save DC 18; initial damage 1d6 Con + 1d4 Str; secondary damage 1d6 Con + 1d6 Dex). Because of the terrible pain inflicted by the poison as it courses through the subject’s veins, all actions (attacks, saving throws, skill checks, etc.) are at –2 penalty for four rounds.

Skills: Carnifex receive a +4 racial bonus to all Escape Artist checks.


Environment Any land or underground

Organization Solitary, gang (2-4), or conclave (6-8)

Treasure Standard

 Advancement By character class

Combat In most cases, a carnifex will fight with a weapon, but if none is available, it is more than capable of self-defense.

Carnifex (singular and plural) are of average height and weight with the typical male being 6 feet tall and weighing 170 lbs., while females are slightly smaller. Their skin is textured and striated much like muscle tissue, but it is very pale in color. Jet black eyes with pupils that glow red are often the source for confusion as they have been mistaken for undead. They often cloak themselves in the darkest of robes when interacting with non-carnifex races.

The carnifex are a race of outsiders that have refined pain and torture to the point where it is considered to be an art among them. They excel at the administration of pain and take great satisfaction from both administering and receiving it. These humanoid creatures are often summoned by evil spellcasters to act as inquisitors in the extraction of information from an unwilling subject. They have also been summoned to gain sadistic pleasure from watching captives writhe in agony. Due to their resilient skins and high rate of healing, carnifex are quick to throw themselves into a situation where they can not only inflict great amounts of pain, but also relish taking wounds and the pain associated with them.

Carnifex Characters
A carnifex’s favored classes are rogue and fighter. It is not uncommon for a carnifex to multiclass so he may gain key benefits from those classes. Carnifex tend to worship deities that favor domination and pain. Clerics usually have access to the Murder, Pain (Torture), or Poison domains. For those who wish to play a carnifex as a player character, modifications in the creature’s poison capabilities are advised dependent upon the class level to prevent game balance issues from arising (see Table 13).

Carnifex Level Adjustments

Character Class Level
Poison DC
Initial Damage
Secondary Damage
10 + Con modifier
1d2 Con + 1 Str
1d2 Con + 1d2 Dex
12 + Con modifier
1d3 Con + 1d2 Str
1d3 Con + 1d3 Dex
14 + Con modifier
1d4 Con + 1d3 Str
1d4 Con + 1d4 Dex
16 + Con modifier
1d6 Con + 1d4 Str
1d6 Con + 1d6 Dex