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  • Breaking demon bindings

    I just wanted some opinions on this idea I had for a game. Dont worry if you are in my game its just a plot hook there are no spoilers. To be clear I'm not talking about mechanics supporting it but if you think its ok narratively. I also want to stress I know I can just golden rule this but I dont want to undermine anything. The complication to me is that the demon binding that exalted use are part of the oaths of surrender.

    Basically how strong do you think demon binding should be? Is it pretty absolute and on par with breaking the oaths on the yozi itself or closer to something like banishment or countermagic?

  • #2
    Personally I say that with the already canon banishing spells (which simply poofs the demons back to hell), the bindings should be absolute. Players shouldn't have to worry that the 2nd circle or higher demons that they spent all that time and energy in to calling up can suddenly be pulled out from under them and possibly highjacked by someone else. Likewise GMs should be able to deploy demons where they see fit without having to worry about if they're going to end up giving the players a weapon that they aren't intended to have.

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    • #3
      From what perspective are we looking at this from? Are we looking at this from the perspective of another individual considering breaking the binding on a demon because they think it will help, are we looking at this from the perspective of a demon who has grown to hate the binding on them and is looking to get complete freedom without getting sent back to Malfeas, or just how much one can push a demon bound as a servant before it snaps and does whatever?

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      • #4
        I'm not quite sure I understand the question? Do you mean like a successfully bound demon managing to break free of it's bindings and going on a rampage? Yeah, that makes narrative sense however demon summoning is a very useful tool so I would make a demon slipping it's bonds be an incredibly rare event.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JayTee View Post
          Personally I say that with the already canon banishing spells (which simply poofs the demons back to hell), the bindings should be absolute. Players shouldn't have to worry that the 2nd circle or higher demons that they spent all that time and energy in to calling up can suddenly be pulled out from under them and possibly highjacked by someone else. Likewise GMs should be able to deploy demons where they see fit without having to worry about if they're going to end up giving the players a weapon that they aren't intended to have.
          I generally agree.

          Now if you've bound Gervasin or another unique 2nd/3rd Circle demon and someone else tries to summon him, maybe then you have a roll-off or something.


          "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

          "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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          • #6
            I will clarify the restrictions. This is someone using a method (with a finite capacity to use it) removing the bindings of a first circle demon and first circle only.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
              I generally agree.

              Now if you've bound Gervasin or another unique 2nd/3rd Circle demon and someone else tries to summon him, maybe then you have a roll-off or something.
              Can't attempt to summon a demon that's not already in Malfeas. The summoning fails. One can, however, banish someone else's demon and the summon it (if the conditions are correct) back under one's control.


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              • #8
                Sure, why not? It seems like the type of thing that would be a sorcerous working, or maybe some type of artifact? It'd be a good weapon against dragon blooded sorcerers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                  I generally agree.

                  Now if you've bound Gervasin or another unique 2nd/3rd Circle demon and someone else tries to summon him, maybe then you have a roll-off or something.
                  I'd be leery of this as a house rule, because it seems like it introduces a lot of instability in the game on both sides and weakens the higher levels of demon summoning for dubious results, at best. Seeing that Mnemon (or a rival Solar, or some Lunar you've got wrong with, or what have you) has conjured up Octavian should absolutely have "I bet my demonology and/ or sorcery wang is bigger than yours" as a valid response, because that's awesome.

                  But it should take other forms than "We retreat back to a safe distance and summon the demons out from underneath them." Banishing them requires getting close enough to get into a real scrap and has potential downsides, drawing a summoning circle in a safe place and having a roll-off really doesn't, or at least, not to nearly the same extent.

                  It can blow back on the PCs, as well. I don't run Sidereals as omniscient and possessing infinite time, but if you wind up on the Bronze Faction's hit list and they're planning a... well, a hit, one of the first things they're likely to do is have a high-Essence Elder safely ensconsed in Yu-Shan take a few hours to utterly fuck over your demon bodyguard before lowering the boom.

                  Really, the existing rules are fine in general, I think. They basically work and don't really have downsides.


                  "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Xanandithras View Post
                    Can't attempt to summon a demon that's not already in Malfeas. The summoning fails.
                    Ah, forgot about this. Thanks!

                    Originally posted by Xanandithras View Post
                    One can, however, banish someone else's demon and the summon it (if the conditions are correct) back under one's control.
                    There's a funny situation there. Say Arianna has bound Gervasin and sends him to kill Samea. He confronts Samea on Ascending Fire day 15. Samea hits him with Adamant Circle Banishment immediately, he poofs on Ascending Fire day 15. She immediately starts summoning him. He arrives on Ascending Fire day 16. Meaning he would have started walking from Cecelyne on Ascending Fire day...what, 9? 10? While he was still in Creation and bound to Arianna.

                    Kind of a funny thought.
                    Last edited by Zelbinnean; 03-17-2015, 10:11 PM.


                    "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                    "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post

                      There's a funny situation there. Say Arianna has bound Gervasin and sends him to kill Samea. He confronts Samea on Ascending Fire day 15. Samea hits him with Adamant Circle Banishment immediately, he poofs on Ascending Fire day 15. She immediately starts summoning him. He arrives on Ascending Fire day 16. Meaning he would have started walking from Cecelyne on Ascending Fire day...what, 9? 10? While he was still in Creation and bound to Arianna.

                      Kind of a funny thought.
                      For the Yozis, causality is something that happens to other people. I love that.

                      Also, I cracked open my own books, and something I'd forgotten about Second Circles is you can only summon'em once a month. So this scenario still works, and is still hilarious, it has to line up with the lunar phases right.


                      "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aeroz View Post
                        I will clarify the restrictions. This is someone using a method (with a finite capacity to use it) removing the bindings of a first circle demon and first circle only.
                        So your talking someone finding a device or specific combination of things that can be used in ritual/sorcerous working that when applied against a bound demon it ends the binding on the demon without banishing the demon back to Malfeas. I could see that working I mean have the compounds needed to break the binding be somewhat rare, and once the players figure out what they are they can use it to start tracking the person or set up ambushes. I mean you would need to come up with some other aspects on it like can it be applied to multiple demons at once, does the user have to get close or can they do it at range, how is applied, but otherwise it could be an interesting little hook to play out with. Heck make the players aware of a manse that summons up demon guardians and then replaces them when they get dispatched and you can have the worry crop up on what happens if the binding breaking causes more summonings and what happens if the demon is more tactically mindful than your standard blood ape.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                          For the Yozis, causality is something that happens to other people. I love that.

                          Also, I cracked open my own books, and something I'd forgotten about Second Circles is you can only summon'em once a month. So this scenario still works, and is still hilarious, it has to line up with the lunar phases right.
                          Oh yeah, it's definitely feasible but with close timing required.

                          Even more hilarious with 2e GSPs - their summoning restrictions are somewhat lessened after all.

                          Originally posted by Aeroz View Post
                          I will clarify the restrictions. This is someone using a method (with a finite capacity to use it) removing the bindings of a first circle demon and first circle only.
                          Really the only thing I can think to say is "it's a 1CD, who cares, nbd."
                          Last edited by Zelbinnean; 03-17-2015, 10:32 PM.


                          "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                          "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                            For the Yozis, causality is something that happens to other people. I love that.
                            I was going to say that I wouldn't want it to get that wonky. But time in the Demon Realm seems to be stretched relative to Creation time, because you can take a gate to Hell on the 1st of Calibration, spend a month in Malfeas, and come back to Creation on the 5th of Calibration.

                            So 5 days passes in Cecelyne while 1 passes in Creation, or something.


                            She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
                            My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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                            • #15
                              I like to keep demonic bindings unbreakable in my games.

                              That said, I also like to keep them exploitable. Everybody loves playing Three Laws of Robotics logic games, right?

                              Demons who are bound to serve you for a year and a day serve loyally and without question and obey your orders...but they're still demons, and they have an alien mindset, so how they serve you is still pretty much up to them.

                              Demons who are bound to a task are really fun to subvert. If you summon up Ligier and bind him to protect your daughter from all of her enemies while you go off to war...why, he's going to kidnap her to Malfeas and keep her under guard in his palace and keep working on his other projects while he fulfills the terms of his oath. He might even forge her into an imperishable artifact so she can't be harmed. He might later decide that you're one of her enemies, and refuse to let you see her, if in his conversations with the girl she expresses resentment or frustration with your absentee parenting.

                              I like setting things up so that clever characters can exploit a demon's bindings if they're occult-heavy enough to figure out what they are. Like, if the ancient Library of Li Feng is guarded by a demon, maybe they can research to see how it was bound so they can figure out that it was bound to remain within the walls and to devour any living being other than Li Feng or Tears of Earth who entered the library. Clever players may deduce that while Li Feng and Tears of Earth are long-dead, they might be able to hire someone named Tears of Earth to go in and get the books without being harmed. Or perhaps they can disguise themselves as ghosts (there's necromancy for that), or sit outside the walls and politely ask the demon to bring them the books they want in exchange for something new to read or a ghostly courtesan (since it's probably bored as hell sitting in a library for eternity).

                              Just breaking bindings, I feel, tends to kill more stories than it creates.


                              So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                              The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                              -Roger Zelazny

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