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Demons: What do they REALLY want?

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  • #31
    These are excellent, CapitanTypo.


    STing Bronze Age Exalted

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    • #32
      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


      Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

      "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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      • #33
        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)



        Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

        "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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        • #34
          I love how you manage to create some kind of moral dilemma in every one of these encounters.

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          • #35
            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.


            Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

            "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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            • #36
              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.


              Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

              "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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              • #37
                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.

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                • #38
                  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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                  • #39
                    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.


                    Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

                    "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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                    • #40
                      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?


                      Sisyphus has it easy...

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Mechalith View Post
                        Now I'm curious... what'd you tell it to do?
                        The circle came to a supernaturally plagued village, while the party's Medicine supernal Twilight investigated the disease I (Dawn caste general/sorcerer) snuck off and summoned a sesselja, giving it the task of "clean up all the toxins in the village" without any further instructions (like "try to not be noticed" or something). Turns out there was a dragonblooded immaculate monk living in retirement in the village, thankfully he hasn't started asking any difficult questions yet.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Swooper View Post
                          The circle came to a supernaturally plagued village, while the party's Medicine supernal Twilight investigated the disease I (Dawn caste general/sorcerer) snuck off and summoned a sesselja, giving it the task of "clean up all the toxins in the village" without any further instructions (like "try to not be noticed" or something). Turns out there was a dragonblooded immaculate monk living in retirement in the village, thankfully he hasn't started asking any difficult questions yet.
                          Sounds pretty harmless to me. The monk might end up wondering where it came from, but it isn't like he's gonna flip out and go all Torquemada on the village trying to figure out the culprit. Could easily have been a lost egg or mortal sorcerer or just a random escape from Malfeas.


                          Sisyphus has it easy...

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                          • #43
                            Yup, that's why I'm not particularly worried, but it got me wondering what sorts of things a rogue sesselja would do...

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Swooper View Post
                              Yup, that's why I'm not particularly worried, but it got me wondering what sorts of things a rogue sesselja would do...
                              This goes back to the original question about what demons really want. Someone posted elsewhere on this thread that demons are like fully realised people. While I agree that 2nd and 3rd circle demons might be, first circle demons are more driven and consumed by the prime motivation that defines them. For a seeseljae, the motivation to consume toxins - especially when given such an open ended directive - could have some fun implications for the village.

                              Without being bound to a person, the sesseljae ruins the local brewers trade or tobacco farm. The medic who has some anaesthesia or other beneficial toxins is suddenly raided in the night by the hungry bug.

                              The social ramifications over time are not insignificant.


                              Visit me at Tales of Grey - my RPG Game-Master's blog.

                              "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won" - I gave you all, Mumford & Sons

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post

                                This goes back to the original question about what demons really want. Someone posted elsewhere on this thread that demons are like fully realised people. While I agree that 2nd and 3rd circle demons might be, first circle demons are more driven and consumed by the prime motivation that defines them. For a seeseljae, the motivation to consume toxins - especially when given such an open ended directive - could have some fun implications for the village.

                                Without being bound to a person, the sesseljae ruins the local brewers trade or tobacco farm. The medic who has some anaesthesia or other beneficial toxins is suddenly raided in the night by the hungry bug.

                                The social ramifications over time are not insignificant.
                                Especially after it eats enough to explode into more of them. And now there's no more alcohol in the area.


                                ....

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