Prestige Classes


“Take him, my slaves! Drag his soul back to your dark masters!”

—Argyll Te’Shea, servant of Pelor and malconvoker

The standard concept of the perpetual war between good and evil is clichéd to some: a black-and-white vision of reality, suitable only for religious sermonizing. A few who understand the complexity of the battles that rage throughout the planes have taken up a dangerous path, entering into powerful pacts with the foulest abominations of the Lower Planes to turn evil against evil. These daring summoners are malconvokers, and they bargain with their lives.


The vast majority of malconvokers are sorcerers and wizards (typically conjurers) who focus on summoning creatures. A few clerics find the class interesting, but most have difficulty accepting the idea of using evil creatures to accomplish good acts.


You have always honed your conjuration magic beyond that of your other spells, even flirting with the idea of summoning powerful fiends to do your bidding, but you never actually carried through with such a disreputable act. At least, not until that book appeared. Many malconvokers—too many for pure coincidence—were set upon their path by a seemingly serendipitous event: the appearance of a thin folio bound in black scales entitled the Vital Pact.

This thesis, written in Celestial, discusses the limited ranks and resources of the extraplanar forces of good as opposed to the endless armies of the Lower Planes. It calls for vague new allies from realms only hinted at but also posits that, for the armies of light to survive, evil must be made to combat itself. Such a philosophical treatise would normally inspire few, were it not for the last page. Each copy of the work bears a name—a truename—handwritten in red ink along with notations to aid in summoning a specific fiend. (See the Tome of Magic supplement for more about truename magic. ) With the essay’s radical ideas fresh in the reader’s mind, often echoing similar personal thoughts, the temptation to investigate the darker side of conjuration is usually too strong to resist.

None can say who penned the Vital Pact, how the work mysteriously enters the possession of certain spellcasters, and where the unique closing notations come from. Even the fiends first summoned using the text seem wholly ignorant of its contents or how they became involved. Although many malconvokers accept the Vital Pact as a boon from some hidden patron or celestial power, some scholars fear a more sinister underlying motive.

Whatever the truth, you have been chosen. Someone or something wanted you to receive a copy of the Vital Pact and take up the challenge it proposes, even if you never actually hold the book in your hands. Whether you willingly accept this mandate or seek to discover its source, you cannot deny the effectiveness of its teachings and the good you could put them to.

As you grow in power, your involvement in the planar battle between good and evil also increases. You might begin seeking out places where fiendish influence has leaked into the world, seeking to scour such taints from your home plane. Alternatively, you might travel to other planes, seeking out celestial forces or infiltrating oft-contested infernal battlegrounds such as Acheron, Pazunia on the Abyss’s Plain of Infinite Portals, and Hell’s first layer, Avernus.


As a malconvoker, you rarely fight alone. The versatility of the summon monster spells allows you to conjure many allies, whether you are a solitary traveler or part of a group. With enough such spells and your fiendish legion class feature, you can become the general of a small infernal army. Your other powers, although sometimes risky, also ensure that the creatures you summon stay longer and are more powerful than those summoned by your enemies.


You come to understand the ways of fiends, honing your words to offer the proper mix of compliments, threats, and promises to whet their infernal desires. As you grow in power, so do the beings you deal with, increasing the forces you can bring to bear but also the risks in bargaining with such corrupt abominations.

Tricking powerful fiends is much more difficult than manipulating lowly minions. Thus, you should max out your Bluff skill to get the most out of your deceptive bargaining; increasing your Charisma score is also important for planar binding negotiations. Put ranks into Knowledge (the planes) to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the creatures you summon, so you can choose the best allies for a given situation. Feats that aid your summoning are also helpful, such as Cloudy Conjuration (Complete Mage) or Complete Divine’s Rapid Spell (which reduces the casting time of your summon monster spells to a standard action).


While advancing as a malconvoker, you continue to strengthen your spellcasting ability, though if you are a divine caster affiliated with a church, your peers might have reservations about your methods. Nevertheless, you might be able to discover and contact other malconvokers (by succeeding on a reasonably difficult Knowledge [arcana] check). These peers welcome the rare fellows they encounter and might be convinced to share their research and even magic items related to summoning. At the very least, together you can plumb the often cryptic passages of the Vital Pact to gain further insights into your art.


“I have dwelt in darkness for eighty thousand years, seen the deaths of gods, and feasted on the souls of worlds. I would not be tricked by a mortal wizard.”

—Cvol Visok, nalfeshnee dupe

The malconvoker prestige class gives non-evil player characters a chance to use some of the most powerful creatures in the game—and the most dangerous. Malconvokers run terrible risks in attempting to turn pure evil to the service of good. Moreover, they might alienate righteous allies in exchange for tenuous pacts with fiendish servants. The Vital Pact, that peculiar text that indoctrinates so many malconvokers, also sets up a dark mystery with possible celestial or infernal ties.


Nearly all malconvokers have studied the Vital Pact, whether or not they possess a copy of the book. Some are fanatics devoted to its radical call to arms, others are researchers hoping to reveal its shadowed origins, and still others are conjurers who seek more versatility in their spellcasting. This shared knowledge puts malconvokers into a strange sort of group, if not an especially organized one. No obvious thread links those who come across that strange text, beyond their affinity for summoning magic.

Malconvokers quietly share their knowledge of extraplanar beings, methods of deceiving those they summon, and, in rare circumstances, the truenames of potent or easily duped fiends. They secretly correspond with one another through mundane letters or spells to protect their own identities and those of their peers, understanding that people in powerful positions abhor their methods. A malconvoker or his agent often leaves a letter in a wellused cache, where another can check for correspondence without drawing attention. Favored spots include statues in crowded public places, especially those with angelic or religious themes.

Every malconvoker risks having his true identity revealed to a fiend he once tricked into his service, which might then track him down and exact horrific retribution. For most, this dreadful prospect never becomes reality. But when the unthinkable happens, malconvokers can turn only to their peers for help. Some see it as their duty to aid a colleague, but many shun such an individual, terrified of being exposed to the same fate.

NPC Reactions

Malconvokers elicit strong opinions. Authorities within lawful- or good-aligned religions see them as self-deluded demonologists. These critics hold that summoning fundamentally wicked creatures into the world is evil regardless of the end. True, a malconvoker cheats these beings to serve good aims, but two wrongs still don’t make a right. Thus, malconvokers have been expelled from religious orders and, in extreme cases, executed as heretics. Followers of other religions, though, welcome malconvokers, primarily those who revere trickster gods and other less lawful deities. They savor the delicious irony of turning demons loose against a cult of demon-worshipers.

Most ordinary folk cannot distinguish malconvokers from other spellcasters and treat them according to their apparent station. Summoning fiends in a public area, however, is likely to produce a hostile reaction. Most people don’t care why a spellcaster can so adeptly command demons and devils, only that he does.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research malconvokers to learn more about them. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Malconvokers are conjurers who summon demons, devils, and other fiends and trick them into aiding the cause of good.

DC 15: Malconvokers are feared by many, despite their good intentions. The creatures they summon are often more powerful than other summoned monsters of their kind.

DC 20: Many malconvokers begin summoning fiends at the suggestion of a strange book called the Vital Pact.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about specific malconvokers in your campaign, including a notable individual, the area in which he operates, and how to contact him.

Contacting a malconvoker depends on his social status and how greatly he fears oppression or pursuit. Correspondence might take place through letters left at prearranged drop points.


Malconvokers can fill a number of roles in your campaign. They might be reckless summoners who call on forces they don’t fully understand, their judgment clouded by their zeal to combat evil. Particularly power-hungry individuals might wage personal wars against fiends and their influences. More thoughtful, conflicted malconvokers believe in the necessity of sacrificing innocence to gain powerful allies.

Malconvokers make challenging player characters. On the one hand, they can aid their colleagues with their command over terrible creatures. Their research into the truenames of useful or powerful fiends, and their deep knowledge of planar matters, also make them helpful to their comrades. On the other hand, clerics, druids, and paladins often oppose a malconvoker’s methods, fearful of not only the dark creatures he controls but also his intentions. Such fear might also mean a malconvoker and his associates are pursued by members of demon-hunting religions or fearful locals.


The origin and purpose of the Vital Pact are deliberately left open so that you can create a background appropriate to your campaign. Depending on your taste, the mysterious text can be benevolent, subtly corruptive, or even nonexistent.

If your campaign doesn’t focus on cultic tomes and monstrosities of the Lower Planes, you can easily adapt the malconvoker to fulfill more obviously benevolent roles. Change the summoned creatures from evil-aligned to good-aligned to have him command a celestial strike force as powerful as fiends. Doing so also removes the moral and intraparty conflicts members of this class might otherwise face. Alternatively, a malconvoker can summon a different kind of creature in the fight against evil. Such powerful beings can still be dangerous to deal with.

Hit Die: d4.


To qualify to become a malconvoker, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any non-evil.

Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks.

Languages: Celestial, Infernal.

Feats: Augment Summoning, Spell Focus (conjuration).

Special: Ability to cast summon monster III.

Class Skills

The malconvoker's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Malconvoker

Level Base
Special Spells per day
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Deceptive summons, unrestricted conjuration
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Planar binding +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Skill Focus (Bluff) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Deceptive summons (fury) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Fiendish legion +1 level of existing spellcasting class
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Deceitful bargaining +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Deceptive summons (resistance) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Improved calling +1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Safe summoning +1 level of existing spellcasting class
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the malconvoker prestige class.

As a malconvoker, you turn the powers of your enemies back upon them, deceiving creatures into opposing those they might typically ally with. Your evil foes are least prepared to deal with the same arsenal of abilities and tactics they employ themselves.

Spellcasting: At each level beyond 1st, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a malconvoker, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Deceptive Summons (Su): At 1st level, you can attempt to trick evil creatures you conjure into serving you for longer than they normally would. When casting a summon monster spell to summon an evil-aligned creature, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action, opposed by the creature’s Sense Motive check. If your check succeeds, the duration of the effect is doubled (as if by the Extend Spell feat), and the summoned creature might be subject to additional effects as described below. If it fails, the duration remains as normal and no additional effects can be applied. If you fail the check by 5 or more, the creature breaks free of your control and is hostile toward you (though it still disappears as normal when the spell’s duration ends).

If you use this ability when summoning multiple creatures, you must attempt an opposed skill check separately against each creature you wish to affect.

Beginning at 4th level, you can whip the deceived creatures into an infernal fury. If your Bluff check to extend the duration of summoning succeeds, the creatures get a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls and 2 extra hit points per Hit Die (in addition to the bonuses conferred by Augment Summoning).

Beginning at 7th level, you can instill the deceived creatures with exceptional resistance to your enemies’ attempts to control or dismiss them. If your Bluff check to extend the duration of summoning succeeds, the creatures get a +2 bonus on Will saves, and your effective caster level is increased by 2 for the purpose of resisting dispel magic and similar effects against those creatures.

Unrestricted Conjuration: For the purpose only of casting conjuration spells, you can ignore any restrictions that forbid you from casting spells of certain alignments. In addition, regular use of conjuration spells with the evil descriptor does not threaten to change your alignment.

For example, a good cleric who becomes a malconvoker could cast summon monster I to summon a fiendish raven (whose alignment gives the spell the evil descriptor). The cleric could not cast death knell, though, which has the evil descriptor but is not of the conjuration school.

Planar Binding: Beginning at 2nd level, you can add the following spells to your class spell list and your list of known spells (or your spellbook) at the indicated levels. If you already have one or more of these spells on your class list at a different level, treat it as being of the lower level.

5th: lesser planar binding.

6th: planar binding.

8th: greater planar binding.

Skill Focus (Bluff): At 3rd level, you gain Skill Focus (Bluff) as a bonus feat. If you already have this feat, you can select any other feat for which you meet the prerequisite.

Fiendish Legion (Ex): Once you attain 5th level, whenever you use a summon monster spell to summon one or more evil-aligned creatures, you summon one extra creature of the same kind.

Deceitful Bargaining (Ex): Starting at 6th level, you become exceptionally adept at convincing evil creatures you call that your intentions parallel their own. Upon calling an evil outsider using a planar binding spell, you can make a Bluff check opposed by the creature’s Sense Motive skill check. If you succeed on this check, the called creature becomes more amenable to your cause, taking a –5 penalty on the opposed Charisma check made to refuse serving you. If you fail, the creature immediately makes a new Will saving throw against your spell. On a failure, the spell functions as normal. If it succeeds on this save, the creature breaks free of your control and can either flee or attack you.

Improved Calling (Su): At 8th level, your understanding of the ways of fiends shows you how to tempt even more powerful beings into your service. The normal HD limit for your planar ally and planar binding spells (including lesser and greater versions) increases by 2.

Safe Summoning (Ex): At 9th level, you can dismiss any evil creature that you have summoned as an immediate action rather than as a standard action.