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Demons: What do they REALLY want?

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  • Mechalith
    replied
    Originally posted by Swooper View Post
    Have you got any of those vignettes involving sesseljae, CapitanTypo? I've recently unleashed one with what might have been a too-vaguely-phrased command, but I can't really see what kind of shenanigans might come of it. They seem so harmless.

    Now I'm curious... what'd you tell it to do?

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  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Originally posted by Swooper View Post
    Have you got any of those vignettes involving sesseljae, CapitanTypo? I've recently unleashed one with what might have been a too-vaguely-phrased command, but I can't really see what kind of shenanigans might come of it. They seem so harmless.
    I've always thought that Stomach Bottle Bugs were best explored through their unexpected effects on people - especially mortals or at least non-sorcerers.

    A mortal courtier whose exalted lover bestows them with a sesseljae as a gift, but on doing so rids the courtier of the capacity to get drunk or enjoy the drugs that once made court life so enticing. The courtier becomes depressed in a way that serves as a useful plot hook - maybe they're a serial killer, or suicidal, or extremely beligerant. If said courtier is the bad guy or at least a plot point, working in way for the PCs to learn of their legendary exploits as a drunkard tho suddenly changed their ways might provide some intriguiing backstory - and a moral dilemma if the courtier is doing something the PCs need stopped, and they discover he has bene possessed all along and not in full control. Do hey still turn him/her over to local law enforcement?

    Another fun idea for Sesseljae is what happens when their definition of a 'toxic substance' expands into the metaphysical. What happens to the PC whose sesseljae decides that love is toxic? or happiness? or fear? how does that mess with the PCs Great Curse or general ability to function in society (this is how you run an 'office space' story in Creation) - such a thing would make an interesting subplot that rows a kink into an otherwise ordinary story. Sure, once they figure it out they can just banish the demon, but what goes wrong in the time it takes them to figure it out? (this would be hard to run without carefully considering how to influence a PCs behaviour - though itcould also be a prominent NPC or ally who has the issue)

    Finally, you could have a demon cult founded by sesseljae - whole villages of people who benefit from the excellent health and long lives provided by a whole clan of bottle bugs. If htis has been going on for decades or even generations, you'd have a village of unusually healthy, fit, attractive people in some medieval setting - very unnerving. O you could have a violent viking like culture who bestow new demons upon their boys when they become men.

    There's just a few that obviously need more fleshing out, but as with all things seemingly beneficial, the drama lies less with the thing itself than with it's interactions with people.

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    In my first game I had a Bloodape with a white Mohawk, think the lead Mogui in Gremlins, who would be named and would be summoned by a bloodline of DB Sorcerers and he would learn things while on mission in Creation, like Martial Arts and other lil tricks. Basically being cultivate while training Oversea, and then using the newly found self awareness to survive in Hell till he could be summoned into Creation again, and maybe even find a way to live there as a kind of captain for other summoned demons. Yeah I think he got Lightning Torment Hatcheted in the Face by our Eclipse Pirate King.

    For the 2nd Circle Demons I created like the Malikah of the Gilded Frown and the Engineer of the Transmundane they had very unique goals pretty much defining their character as a demon.

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  • Swooper
    replied
    Have you got any of those vignettes involving sesseljae, CapitanTypo? I've recently unleashed one with what might have been a too-vaguely-phrased command, but I can't really see what kind of shenanigans might come of it. They seem so harmless.

    Leave a comment:


  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Also, in a game with the PC power level of exalted, morality and unintended consequences are two of the few things that can create difficulty for PCs without constantly escalating the power level.

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  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Originally posted by Swooper View Post
    I love how you manage to create some kind of moral dilemma in every one of these encounters.
    Thanks. That's pretty much how I approach running RPGs. I focus on creating situations and then the game is about the choices the players make and the consequences of those choices. The session I ran that involved Zatarra and the blood ape ended up in an hour long debate between the PCs about the ethics of survival.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swooper
    replied
    I love how you manage to create some kind of moral dilemma in every one of these encounters.

    Leave a comment:


  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Time for another demon encounter.

    This one revolves around a Crying Woman and a Deacanthrope who formed a bond that might be something close to what mortal's consider love, but they consider more of an co-dependent business arrangement. Together they planned to escape Malfeas and set themselves up as kings of their own realm in creation.

    The Crying woman was able to escape to creation first, given the frequency of which ambition-driven treachery occurs among humans, and worked her manipulations to dupe mortals into summoning her Body-snatching partner.

    Together, they quickly manipulated the population of a small town until the entire ruling body of the town were the puppets of the Deacanthrope. To maintain the illusion of natural leadership, the Crying Woman would regularly enflame the ambitions of others in the town, who would issue a challenge to the leaders - only to become the next puppet of the body snatcher. To the people of the area, it appears as though they have an effective system of government based on strength of individuals, which, over time, becomes a warrior culture perhaps most comparable to early vikings. With the demons at the helm, this warrior culture grows strong and starts to become a threat to its neighbours, which might provide a hook for the PCs to get involved. If you want to extend the existence of this warrior nation out over a long enough timeline, they might also start to become a demon worshiping cult with demon-bloods among their numbers, thgouh this transforms the whole encounter into more of an outright negative.

    The real challenge of this encounter comes form the PCs encountering them population at a time when they are strong, but still unaware that their leaders are all demons. They will have rationalized and ritualized any odd behaviours away as the divine burden of leadership, which gives you a lot of scope to let the society be as weird as you want.

    The crux of the encounter is culture. The PCs may banish or destroy the demons at the heart of the problem, but by then it's been a couple of generations or more and the people are truly enculturated into their 'might makes right; mentality, and even with the demons gone, they will continue much in their way, continuing to be a threat to neighboring nations.

    This encounter could allow for a local god (or a celestial god even) to get involved, say if it's in the courh and Ahlat is upset about the rise of a warrior culture that offers him no worship. Do the PCs protect the people from Ahlat's wrath? or help him wipe out their demon tainted culture in a full blown genocide? (which Ahlat would happily endorse in order to grant victory and praise upon one of his loyal tribes)

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  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    These are excellent, CapitanTypo.

    Thanks. Glad you like them. I've got a session coming up in a little under 2 weeks so I'll keep posting them as I write them along the way

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    These are excellent, CapitanTypo.

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  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    This next one is a scene I've only drafted and haven't run, and is kind of similar to the civlised ape idea posted earlier by @AnubisXy
    In a large urban centre, this moment takes place in the slums where people struggle to access any real justice. There, a Luminata has made itself a bit of a folk hero because it will track down and terrorise or kill those who have commited crimes, and will do so for very little in the way of payment - in fact it often only asks for a prayer or token. It does, however set a high standard. It expects you to demonstrate that a wrong has actually been committed and it will usually verify your accusations while it is tormenting the victim. Anyone who lies to the demon or tries to use it to settle a personal vendetta rather than right a wrong will be the next subject of its hunt - so it only took a couple of would-be-manipulators to be made very messy public examples for the word to spread. The demon will also track down lost people or things, and has a special variation of it's Smell the Wind (fart joke) charm to be able to tell the rightful owner of a thing (it also tracks down escaped slaves - it's a demon after all)

    On the surface this may seem like a fairly benign encounter, however it is meant to play out in the background over a longer period of time. Maybe the PCs first encounter the demon early in it's career when they need to find someone and the poor people in the city tell them they know someone who can help. The locals love the demon because it brings them a sense of justice and they have learned not to push it. If te PCs decide they don't like the idea of a demon haing free reign to hunt and kill people, then they'll get the local area off side - which I plan to make a problem because they'll need the locals to help with a later plot point.

    However, if they do nothing, over a period of time (depending on how long your characters are in the area - if you're playing a city based game or Nexus or Chiaroscuro feature regularly then this could happen over a year or more) the demon cultivates the thanks of the local people into a Yozi cult and summons a big nasty that does major damage and has to be put down (there's always consequences!)

    The key part of this encounter is the dynamic of the relationship between the demon and the poor of the area. You could just have an unscrupulous magistrate summoning demons to hunt down people for petty crimes, but then the demons are just a tool and the magistrate is clearly the problem. In this set up, you've got a lot more moral grey area to play with so that whatever decision the PCs make will have both positive and negative consequences.

    Leave a comment:


  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar View Post
    Some of those Islands in the West are massive, mind.

    There will be plenty of people in the West who never see the sea and don't really care about it's relevance, just like how there were plenty of people in the UK who never saw the sea while it was the greatest maritime Empire in the world and massively helped in that due to being on an Island.
    Granted, this perception was not really helped by previous editions where nations the size of Cuba or Britan were written like they were islands an order of magnitude smaller (according to wikipedia, the Island of Britain is around 88 thousand square miles in area, while the largest of the Hawaiian Islands is around 4 thousand square miles).

    Sorry to tangent. I'm enjoying this thread. Thanks everyone!

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar
    replied
    Some of those Islands in the West are massive, mind.

    There will be plenty of people in the West who never see the sea and don't really care about it's relevance, just like how there were plenty of people in the UK who never saw the sea while it was the greatest maritime Empire in the world and massively helped in that due to being on an Island.

    Leave a comment:


  • CapitanTypo
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Or, y'know, horses.

    Yeah, but not nearly as much fun.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post
    Key Demon: Agatae - a small group of them. In my game they found there way to a small desert property near an oasis that made a living from breeding and training riding camels - but in the east it could be horse breeders, in the north, any kind of large riding beasts, in the west, maybe some sort of trained dolphin used for individual transport.
    Or, y'know, horses.

    Leave a comment:

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