Geeked on Dungeons and Dragons


 
HomeGalleryRegister

Share | 
 

 New design and development and more bad news for fiends

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Wraithborne
Man of Renown
Man of Renown
avatar

Number of posts : 384
Age : 45
Reputation : 1
Registration date : 2007-03-10

PostSubject: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:14 pm

In the real world, "demon" is synonymous with "devil." "Abyss" and "hell" have a similar relationship. D&D designers have struggled with these facts since 1977 when the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game depicted demons and devils, the Abyss and the Nine Hells. The original basis for the division was alignment. Aligned planes existed to provide a meaningful afterlife for similarly aligned characters, and a need to fill those planes with natives resulted in demons being distinct from devils. As the game evolved, the original division remained, but too many similarities persisted. The advent of 4th Edition lets us accentuate the differences between the two primary species of fiends.

Throughout demons' and devils' existence in the D&D game, resemblances between them have been stronger and more numerous than differences. Both species are extraplanar forces of evil that seek souls to supplement their numbers. Each breed has wretched and implike creatures at the bottom of the hierarchy and godlike archfiends at the top. Each member of both species has a wide array of similar (and often superfluous) supernatural powers. Most demons and devils are superior to members of typical PC races in every way, including incredible intelligence. Their purposes in the material world have always been similar.

In the original AD&D Monster Manual, Gary Gygax admitted that devils ďsomewhat resemble the demons both in their characteristics and abilities.Ē AD&D 2nd Edition kept the planar structure of the original game. Demons and devils became tanaríri and baatezu, respectively, but little made them distinct other than their categorical names. Only a conflict called the Blood War kept them from overrunning the material world. However, this evil-on-evil fight didnít expand the possibilities for typical D&D play. On the contrary, the Blood War brought the motivations and hierarchy of demons and devils closer together. The 3rd Edition of D&Dretained so many of 2nd Editionís concepts that it did little to clarify the situation until the release of Fiendish Codex I. Fourth Edition changes all that.

In 4th Edition, the Nine Hells are an astral dominion among other deific abodes in the Astral Sea (more on that in an upcoming Design & Development column). The resident deity is Asmodeus, who as an angel in primeval times, led an army of his fellows against his celestial master and murdered that god. Although Asmodeus gained divine might from his foul deed, he and his followers also suffered their victimís dying curse. Under the power of that malediction, all the rebellious angels twisted in form and became devils. Worse still, the murdered godís words transformed Asmodeus's dominion into a nightmarish place and bound the newborn devils to it. To this day, devils plot to escape their prison, weaving lies and corruption to ensure their eventual freedom and to seize even greater power.

Asmodeus rules Hell with despotic pride, and all devils conform to his strict hierarchy or face destruction. Within the chain of command, lesser devils use whatever power they have to mimic their ultimate leader. Devils work to gain influence in the cosmos, especially among mortals in the world. They eagerly respond to any summons and readily form cleverly worded pacts. They plan and build to meet their needs, making and using all sorts of devices, tools, and weapons. A devil might be supernaturally potent, and it might possess incredible magic items, but its greatest assets are its shrewdly calculating mind and eternal patience. Devils want to impose a sort of order -- specifically theirs -- on the cosmos.

Not so with demons.

In the Abyss, which gapes like a festering wound in the landscape of the Elemental Tempest, demons teem, eternally divided among themselves simply by their insatiable lust for ruin. Legend says that the Chained God, Tharizdun, found a seed of evil in the young cosmos, and during the godsí war with the primordials, he threw that seed into the Elemental Tempest. There, the evil seed despoiled all that came into contact with it (some say it tainted Tharizdun himself) and created the Abyss as it burned a hole in the very structure of the plane. Elemental beings that came too close to the Abyss became trapped and warped. Any desire they have turns to the longing to obliterate the gods, creation, and even one another. They became demons.

Most demons are savage and fearless engines of annihilation. Although sometimes driven by unspeakable yearning or by horrifying demon lords to gather in groups, demons have no real organization and no singular aim. Demons donít negotiate, and they build nothing lasting. Most use tooth and claw rather than artificial weapons. They care little or nothing for souls. Even the mightiest demon lords manipulate other demons by using threats, direct violence, or the promise of more destruction through affiliation. Although the lords of the Abyss that veteran D&D players know and love to hate still exist, no monolithic hierarchy supports any demonís influence. Although a demon might want to destroy another creature and take that creatureís power, success only results in the winning demon using and squandering what it has seized. Demons have no regard for the responsibilities of authority, and they care little for keeping what they acquire. Theyíre forces of unmaking, and a universe under them would reflect the horror that is the Abyss, if that universe survived at all.

What does a clearer distinction between the two major species of fiends mean for your game? If you need a devious fiend that cares about souls and works on long-term schemes, use a devil. However, wholesale slaughter, pointless suffering, and terrifying devastation call for a demon. A villain or even a player character might bargain with devils, but those who conjure demons do so only to wreak havoc on their enemies. In short, the unambiguous division of the fiends is another way 4th Edition makes the game easier to design for and to play.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Kilsek
Encounter Killer
Defender of the Faith: DM

Encounter KillerDefender of the Faith:  DM
avatar

Number of posts : 2557
Age : 46
Hit Points :
<b>View of DDM 2.0</b> :
<b>View of 4.0</b> :
<b>Trade Topic</b> : HERE
Reputation : 1
Registration date : 2007-02-17

PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:22 pm

Interesting reading, thanks for posting wraith

_________________
When the end is near the PCs yell out for the Encounter Killer!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.geekedondungeonsanddragons.com
ZER0
Necromancer Supreme
Necromancer Supreme
avatar

Number of posts : 506
Age : 32
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2007-07-24

PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:42 pm

Wouldn't this article be confirming demons and devils in 4th ed? Changing their appearance may not happen, and I could see that not being the case. Thanks for putting this up, great read.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
yack
The Drumming Drunkin' DM
The Drumming Drunkin' DM
avatar

Number of posts : 390
Age : 44
<b>View of 4.0</b> :
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2007-04-09

PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:38 pm

Thats is a good read I don't see the bad point in that one... I can now see them keeping the demons and devils seperate which is a good thing in my books. Please don't change the looks.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
ZER0
Necromancer Supreme
Necromancer Supreme
avatar

Number of posts : 506
Age : 32
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2007-07-24

PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:50 pm

Also, I should comment I'm among the group of thinking that is kind of in favor of appearance changes. Mostly because, for example, I already have a bunch of scrawny trolls. So the new beefier one could be the class-levelled troll the PCs fight at the end of it all. Or, in the case of some creatures, likely, a mutated version. So long as they don't change the appearance *too* much from the original version for the ones we don't have minis for yet, I'm all good. Even if I stay in 3.5 ed. Because there's always need for variants in my games. Hence why I don't mind them putting out 2 of the same mini, like the troll.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Pinky Narfanek
Chainmail Guru
Chainmail Guru
avatar

Number of posts : 830
Age : 44
<b>View of DDM 2.0</b> :
<b>View of 4.0</b> :
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2007-02-20

PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:31 pm

Personally, I think this is good news for the denizens of the lower planes. There are new hooks for stories, new ways to FUBAR expectations (demons that carefully plot and devils that let loose mindless destruction as a ruse)...and it gives the fiends a bit of flavor that they had not previously had (for me).

Dragon Appearances? Sad
Kewl Powerz? Sad
DI? Sad
Demons vs. Devils? :)

_________________
No RPG for old men.
Poit
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: New design and development and more bad news for fiends   

Back to top Go down
 
New design and development and more bad news for fiends
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Sherlock series 3 and 4 news
» JD Fortune news
» News from FIMfiction[Poll]
» Graphic design services & web Development Company | Gadget Bytes
» Welcome to Sunny Florida ... wait ... crap.

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Geeked on Dungeons and Dragons :: Role Playing :: General :: 4.0 Discussions-
Jump to:  
Free forum | © phpBB | Free forum support | Contact | Report an abuse | Forumotion