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  • #31
    Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
    Why vampire princes are able to stay top dog for centuries?
    Because they are infallible?
    No, Actually they make even more mistakes than your average Ancilla.
    They stay at top because they are mighty. They can, and do, crush any starscream with sheer power.

    It goes the same for a cult master with decades of experience ( if he didn't rest on his laurels but used this time to improve himself ): he may make errors, but he's strong enough ( expert, versed in combat, knowledgeable about the occult, mystically powerful ) to identify and crush a less experienced potential upcomers.
    Vampire Princes often rely on alliances with figures who are, relatively, their equals. They don't generally hold an entire city of vampires under their thumb through sheer personal might alone.

    Also, note that all of my criticisms have agreed that you could possibly pull this off for centuries. But the truth is that most Princes *are* toppled eventually, even the most powerful ones. And their allies turning on them is often the contributing factor to *their* fall as well. Allies who are not demons driven by malice, pride, and sadism.

    AGAIN, your premise only holds up to the extent you desperately want it to if you are playing a Mary Sue. Or a Methuselah (if there's a difference). It only holds up if you ASSUME your massive superiority over all potential challengers. Which is absolutely ridiculous in the Old World of Darkness.


    Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
    A dozen?
    I don't know how things works in US but here, in Italy, I lived for 12 years in a very isolated village in the mountains ( italian Alpi ) , 607 meters of altitude.
    It was little but it still counted more or less a thousand inhabitants.

    An isolated infernalist village can reliably provide an hundred soul or more every generation. It's a good, steady trickle.
    My example was under the assumption that only a fraction of the population of the village were members of the cult. Turning an entire village is a bit more impressive, but assuming that crowds of people you bring into your cult are literally going to sell their souls because you persuade them to is, again, presumptuous. If they were that easy, the demon could do it on its own. And it doesn't change the fact that a bigger cult is more likely to be discovered, even if they stay in their isolated mountain village, because the larger number of people means a larger chance that someone becomes a turncoat and runs to the heroes. Or that some random passerby stumbles on some sign of infernalism because you have an entire village full of what you yourself describe as incompetent fools. Or that people simply notice that you've got this weird cultish compound in the mountains full of people who want nothing to do with anyone else. Or that people keep disappearing around this weird random mountain village because they have to keep killing people to keep their secret. Or, you know, because they're a bunch of evil infernalists sacrificing people to their demon master.

    As people have pointed out time and time and time again, your entire argument runs on an underlying premise that your infernalist is the only character with real agency in the scenario, that there are no outside circumstances that you cannot overcome through sheer awesomeness. Yet again, it must be pointed out that NO DEMON WILL HELP YOU BECOME THAT. Your one cult master who presents an egotistical threat to their demonic patron is NOT going to be seen as more valuable than a dozen loser cults that will burn out quickly if the demon can pop those up as easily as scattering seeds in a field. Hell, those loser cults may be more valuable precisely *because* they burn out, because the conditions of a cult going down can often be far more gruesome and horrific than the slow-and-steady evil that you're describing.


    Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
    About power, well, mabye it would not be the deciding factor for "cosmic power" but it surely provides enhanced mystical might.
    And in a thousand years or so, yes, it can grow to a deciding factor.
    See literally everything everyone else has agreed to above about a demon not being interested in letting a mark get that ridiculously powerful.

    Also, to touch on your repeated complaints about demons acting like "stupid cartoon villains."

    Umm yeah, they're *demons.*

    They are not human beings, with human needs. They are driven by wants and needs and impulses that are thoroughly inhuman. If we're talking Wyrm spirits, they are literally driven by their fundamental nature to degrade and destroy. Expecting them to make decisions based on a human economical perspective is fundamentally ridiculous. The classic Christian view of demons presents them as extremely spiteful towards humanity, where yes, they will chop off their nose to spite their face if it means knocking this arrogant human off their high horse and into Hell. This is part of what people keep trying to say when they accuse you of mistakenly treating the demon like a "reasonable negotiator." You're not dealing with homo economicus here, you are dealing with beings that are pathologically driven to cause suffering and misery for one reason or another, and your character doesn't fall outside that purview simply for being useful.

    You aren't willing to face the possibility that the demon would rather have the memory of crushing the pride of your arrogant infernalist than a pile of extra souls.

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    • #32
      A good argument, Kharnov. Although you underestimate the logistical difficulties in locating - and reach - an insulated village which wish to not be reached, expecially if locaded in areas who haven't a very strong and watchful government.

      But I grew tired of this. I have only one last objection to expose, then I'm out of this.

      If I remember correctly, in the Player's Guide to Sabbat there's a demon who gives minor Investments to people who sacrifice to him... cats.

      Yes, found it. Tivilio, the Injurer of Cats.

      Tivilio, the Injurer of Cats Tivilio is a minor demon who draws power from the sacrifice of cats, a practice called Taigheirm. He once had a rather large following in the Scottish Highlands, but he lost it long ago. Tivilio granted a large number of minor Investments to his followers but never gained a large number of souls, so he relied on animal sacrifice as the main method of increasing his own demonic prestige and potency. He favors the sacrifice of cats, and he is known to assume the form of a large, mangy black cat and to walk the Earth after a large number of them are slaughtered in his name. Tivilio is looking for those who will grant him animal sacrifices, but he has begun craving even larger gifts of worship because he has seen just how evil Sabbat can be. Nature: Plotter
      Mj objection is that not every demon is Baal, Mephistophele, Astaroth, Asmodeus, Satan.
      There is also Tivilio.
      Probably, most demons are more close to Tivilio in power than to the big names.

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      • #33
        There are not many countries in the world which don't possess more than enough military force to deal with a rebellious village; if you are caught trying to keep people out, they will force their way in. Also, you're forgetting that the kind of people who would come after your demon-cult-village are as likely as not to have supernatural abilities at their disposal as well. In particular, Garou will literally sense the taint upon the land; Garou are especially something to fear if you're in a place isolated enough that civilized society doesn't have the power to oust you. Even if you hide the physical signs of your cult, you won't be able to hide the spiritual traces. Which is not to say that you will be immediately discovered, but rather that you simply cannot assume that isolating yourself is a surefire guarantee of safety. Isolating yourself also cuts you off from accessing the additional secrets and supernatural resources that help you in this quest for power; if you stick to hiding in your village, then you will be completely dependent on the demon for whatever supernatural power you hope to attain.

        Vampire: the Masquerade is the WoD setting that provides the most inconsistent and unexplained depictions of demons, so it's hardly fair to hold it up as the prime example of what to expect from them. But acknowledging your point, Tivilio the Injurer of Cats is explicitly acknowledged as providing only minor Investments, which means you're almost certainly not going to get goodies like immortality just for skinning a cat every once in a while. Either Tivilio is going to be an incredibly minor contribution to your overall quest for power (while still adding the risk of being targeted by demon hunters and the like), or you're going to have to seek out a bunch of different demons at Tivilio's level, and hope that none of them get offended by you working with their rivals; remember that demons are not just fond of sin, they are sinful, and Pride is often considered the deadliest of sins.

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        • #34
          Actually, strictly following the rules about investments as presented in the Path of Screams, longevity is a level 1 investment who grants 5 years of life or rejuvenation.
          So basically you piss on a church every 5 years in the name of Blad-dher the Incontinent and you're ok for eternity.

          - - -

          Seriously speaking, immortality is not so hard. If you manage to stake a vampire, feed him animal blood and develope a twisted sense of possession as Blood Bond like the crazy preacher in Gehenna, you're pretty much ok.

          About the isolation.

          I didn't meant to kill and fight foreigners but to choose a place that is very isolated and very difficult to reach, in the middle of jungles, or forests, or mountains.
          Then you make it even harder to reach. If there are streets or even paths who may lead to the settlement , you sabotage them.
          You plant fast groving trees and cause landslides, block mountain crossings with slavines and boulders, build crude dams and flood the areas you don't want people to cross.

          There are some locations remote enough to do that. Central Africa, Mexico, South America... mabye even the Rocky Mountains.

          Then you keep the lowest possible profile. You paint the huts mimetic green, no fires exept at night to not signal with the smoke ( and of course, fires only indoors ) , obviously no internet... there are methods.
          Last edited by Solomon Draak; 01-14-2022, 05:10 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
            Actually, strictly following the rules about investments as presented in the Path of Screams, longevity is a level 1 investment who grants 5 years of life or rejuvenation.
            So basically you piss on a church every 5 years in the name of Blad-dher the Incontinent and you're ok for eternity.
            Until someone stabs you in the back.

            Or you trip and fall and break your neck, or choke on a dumpling, or, or, or...

            (PS Or some angry worshipper clubs you in the back of the head while you piss on a church in the name of Blad-dher the Incontinent, since a fake church set up by devil-worshippers is pretty much guaranteed not to qualify)

            A limitless lifespan might meet the absolute lowest bar to qualify for "immortality," but it is not even close to god-like. You're basically an elf, an elf that's dependent on an ongoing relationship with a spiteful entity that could leave you hanging out to dry on a whim.

            How many times do people need to point out that you need to stop acting like the rest of the world a) doesn't exist, or b) is utterly incapable of challenging or threatening your Mary Sue infernalist?

            You are so grasping at straws here.

            Also, what happened to being "tired" of this?
            Last edited by Kharnov; 01-14-2022, 05:09 PM.

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            • #36
              Mary Sue...?
              Creating a little cult and hiding it while doing some low level pacts once in a while is much less than what your average party does in a single playing session.
              Most important NPC have far more glamorous backgrounds.

              And yes, I tire of these less-than-subtle provocations. Goodnight.

              Comment


              • #37
                You don't get to flip-flop between "my infernalist is way too exceptional for a demon to ever betray them" and "my infernalist is just doing some little pacts on the side, what's the big deal?"

                You just keep switching your arguments to whatever they have to be for you to win.

                Your bad faith arguments are themselves provocative. It's why I couldn't just sit on the sidelines any longer.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                  Monteparnas, you take offense too easily.
                  I really appreciated our conversations and never meant to upset you or others.

                  And about gods or demons, in RL neither exist so who cares.
                  I take offense for religious and cultural issues. Because equating demons and gods is a long-standing Christian tradition to invalidate and persecute other beliefs, including mine.

                  The fact that you don't believe in those things doesn't mean that what you say can't affect people that have either religious or emotional ties to those concepts.

                  But just to be very clear about it, I didn't posted earlier just because I was busy today, I'm not mad at you or anything.

                  On the matter at hand, I see no point in most of this particular thread anymore. Keeping it as simple as possible:

                  1 - By RAW yes, the pact can be abused. That's your original question, this is the answer;

                  2 - There are several other actors with agency in this scenario, and time brings new situations. The infernalist can produce an answer to absolutely any circumstance and setback, what is unlikely to happen is you being able to keep it up ad infinitum.

                  3 - King Solomon was A) insanely smart, B) insanely lucky, C) insanely favored by YWHW, D) living in a completely unique circumstance E) before demons had tales of King Solomon to be wary of and F) a legend. Even IC you can hardly guarantee that anything related to Solomon actually happened, as it could be, for example, propaganda set by demons to make infernalists feel confident.

                  4 - Again, by RAW it can be done. You don't need to agree with anyone else's notion of how a demon would behave unless you have an actual context for the information, which for now is just a thought exercise. On the other hand other people don't have to agree with you and there's no victory in this discussion, we're all just repeating arguments by now.


                  #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                  #AutismPride
                  She/her pronouns

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                  • #39
                    Very well...
                    last question guys.

                    What happens if an infernalist summon a weak demon, get a couple low level investments, dismiss the demon through proper rite and forgets about it?

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                      Very well...
                      last question guys.

                      What happens if an infernalist summon a weak demon, get a couple low level investments, dismiss the demon through proper rite and forgets about it?
                      He get's powers he could have just as easily gotten by any other method.

                      If you're powerful enough to bind low-level demons to serve not just the letter, but the full Spirit of what you want, then you're powerful enough to replicate anything you can get from a low-level demon using the ritual system you used to summon it in the first place.

                      Hell, you could have summoned a stronger benign spirit instead of a demon and gotten a better deal by doing a favor.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                        Very well...
                        last question guys.

                        What happens if an infernalist summon a weak demon, get a couple low level investments, dismiss the demon through proper rite and forgets about it?
                        This infernalist is tied to an immortal demon that won't forget them as easily.

                        As said before, demons are characters as much as the infernalist, and have agency. They also have true immortality and good memories. What exactly the demon will do with this is up to it, but it can both go after the infernalist for any reason later or barter information about the infernalist with other parties, demonic or not.

                        Pacts also create a connection between the two, as they have an eternally biding agreement regardless of the practical duration of their respective roles in it. Things like sympathetic magic can't possibly find a stronger connection than that a demon has directly to its clients' souls. Demons know how to explore such connections, and again, they can barter it with others.


                        #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                        #AutismPride
                        She/her pronouns

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          It also bears noting that none of the information discussed here, -NONE-, will be known by the typical infernalist. A given infernalist is lucky if he actually knows the proper way to summon a demon without getting eaten. This is ST-level discussion; characters have NO CLUE about the rules of making pacts with infernal entities. You CANNOT be smart or lucky if you have no clue what you're doing. Even a pretty hefty Tremere is not going to incidentally learn these things; such knowledge is under Demonology, not Occult (which is useful but still too vague and unspecialized).

                          You need to have a firm knowledge of Demonology to have even the slimmest chance of outwitting a demon in any sense. In the World of Darkness, the only type of person who can acquire such knowledge without damning themselves is a Master of the Spirit sphere, or even better, an Archmage of Spirit, and even they need to be really really careful (Solomon is discussed under the Mage books). Inquisitors also know quite a bit, but only so far as fighting or exorcising demons go. Elder Kuei-jin, especially Bodhisattvas and elder Devil Tigers, know a lot and they do outwit demons sometimes. However, they are all destined to go back to Yomi anyway if they die, so they have less to lose compared to the typical non-infernalist. There are no non-infernal Cainites who know this stuff except for some Methuselahs who've been observing their descendants with Auspex 6 or something for a long time. There is NOBODY who will give you this information unless you join infernal cults or are embraced by infernalists, and they are at Demonology 2 or something at best - the cult leader certainly isn't going to teach you everything it knows. So how on earth are you going to outwit entities that you know nothing about?

                          Finally, there's discussion in the Vampire books about infernalism, saying that if you summon ANY demon ONCE, you are tainted with infernalism and you will go to Hell, or wherever. If you haven't been claimed by a specific demon through pacts, you will just be common property and will be torn to pieces there. The soul pacts mark you out as somebody's specific property, and you go to them once you expire. The higher levels of pacts denote whether you have to die to go there, or whether the demon can just whisk you away on a whim.

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                          • #43
                            Outwit a demon is a thing.
                            Arrange things to get a profit for an arrangement is a whole other things.

                            But you guys are too focused on "proving" that infernalism is always at loss to even consider other options.

                            Making other people pay for your gain do not require to outwit the demon, it requires outwitting other people - which is a bit easier.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                              Outwit a demon is a thing.
                              Arrange things to get a profit for an arrangement is a whole other things.

                              But you guys are too focused on "proving" that infernalism is always at loss to even consider other options.

                              Making other people pay for your gain do not require to outwit the demon, it requires outwitting other people - which is a bit easier.
                              We don't need to prove that infernalism is always at loss; the books say that infernalism is always at loss; this is the setting. If you want a homebrew setting where you outwit demons left and right and gain investments, you are welcome to do so. Try reading a few of the books about infernalism where they talk about Dark Thaumaturgy, or something like the Brujah Trilogy, and see if winning against demons is realistic in the setting as written.

                              For what you just said about outwitting other people to pay, it's covered in Sins of the Blood; there's a Sabbat pack that tells people exactly that (we go do the actual summoning and negotiation, you reap the benefits), luring people into making deals by proxy. Guess what, turns out it doesn't matter if you make deals by proxy, a deal is a deal, only you no longer have any control over the negotiation. The Sabbat pack is actually only pretending to be negotiating with demons, when it's actually making the worst possible deals to sell your soul to their masters. You see, you just thought about something seemingly clever, but it turns out to not be the case at all.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                                We don't need to prove that infernalism is always at loss; the books say that infernalism is always at loss; this is the setting. If you want a homebrew setting where you outwit demons left and right and gain investments, you are welcome to do so. Try reading a few of the books about infernalism where they talk about Dark Thaumaturgy, or something like the Brujah Trilogy, and see if winning against demons is realistic in the setting as written.

                                For what you just said about outwitting other people to pay, it's covered in Sins of the Blood; there's a Sabbat pack that tells people exactly that (we go do the actual summoning and negotiation, you reap the benefits), luring people into making deals by proxy. Guess what, turns out it doesn't matter if you make deals by proxy, a deal is a deal, only you no longer have any control over the negotiation. The Sabbat pack is actually only pretending to be negotiating with demons, when it's actually making the worst possible deals to sell your soul to their masters. You see, you just thought about something seemingly clever, but it turns out to not be the case at all.

                                You keep using that word, "outwitting". I never once used it.
                                Never. Once.

                                You are clearly trolling. Mabye you are just trying to get this thread closed.

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