Life-stealers are among the most terrifying of those warlocks who parlay with devils. From their literally infernal dealings these powerful arcane spellcasters obtain the ability to become vampires of a sort, though not literally so, for life-stealers have learned to harness the power of life itself. Sapping away at the animus or “life force” of their enemies, life-stealers are deadly predators. Sometimes, this power becomes intoxicating, and some life-stealers crave the life of their foes as much as a vampire thirsts for blood.
Life-stealers gain from their unusual talents some powerful abilities. Among the most basic of these is the ability to cast magical fire with the most basic of attacks, but it also includes the nominal power to steal life from a foe. The precise benefits gained from this sapping of the animus varies from creature to creature. Aberrations grant life-stealers protection from harm, as do immortals through increasing a life-stealer’s resistance to pain, while elemental creatures make life-stealer attacks more deadly. Fey enhance the ability of a life-stealer to confuse or daze a foe and shadow creatures turn the life-stealer briefly invisible while the animus of a natural creature more mundanely heals some of the warlock’s wounds.
Regardless of the creature’s origin, the action always takes place when a creature under the effects of a warlock’s curse falls in battle. At this point, the life-stealer reaches out and snatches away a fragment or “life spark” of the animus, which they can hold on for a short time afterwards. With additional training and experience a life-stealer may not be so limited, extending the usability of life sparks still further so that minutes later they can still use them to restore their vitality.
The spells of a life-stealer are just as deadly. With soul scorch a life-stealer can use the very life sparks they’ve stolen against the creature they took them from, burning them with the power of their own disembodied animus. Soultheft almost makes it easier for a life-stealer to obtain more such life sparks, using necrotic magic to tear a creature’s life spark from them while still standing.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 141–142. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.