Username Password
  or Create an Account
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Greyhawk Wiki

#greytalk-discord
    JOIN THE CHAT
    Canonfire :: View topic - Wimpy Demon Princes from Wotc
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Wimpy Demon Princes from Wotc [ 1, 2  Next]
    Author Message
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:59 pm  
    Wimpy Demon Princes from Wotc

    As some of you know, and others will horribly find out, the much anticipated Fiendish Codex V1, that provides information on the Abyss, has taken an approach that sees all of the Demon Princes reduced in power such that, by 3X rules, they can be successfully challenged and defeated by a 20th level party. The Demon Princes have been nerfed, neutered, deballed, depowered, bowdlerized, s it canned - you pick your description.

    The “thought,” and I use that word extremely loosely, is that “no one plays epic level games,” and that “you can scale them up.” Of course, this double shot of pablum ignores the mythology of the DPs that goes down the drain in the process, as well as the sheer illogic, given the power of other demonic critters, some of which are now more powerful that some DPs.

    Long suffering GH fans have another indignity to swallow as the Abyss is integral to many GH storylines.

    One hopes the authors were forced to take this approach, rather than suggesting it.

    Rose Estes. Funny Castle Greyhawk. Fiendish Codex Vol. 1 Demon Princes. More to ignore.

    It makes you wonder if anyone involved in designing Wotc products actually plays and, if they do, you wonder what kind of games those are. Kicking sand in Grazzt's face and laughing? BRILLIANT! Right. Losers. Mad
    _________________
    GVD
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 429
    From: Renton WA

    Send private message
    Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:44 pm  

    it doesn't bother me all that much, considering the power level of demon lords and prices in 1e, where a party of 20th level characters would be able to challenge them with a fair amount of success... (granted it was much harder to get to 20th level in 1e, but that is a different subject)... it is in line with what I think the power level of archfiends should be, infact the 2e ramping up of the pwoerlevel of gods, demigode, and eventualy arch-fiends was something that I dispised. YMMV.

    Quote:
    It makes you wonder if anyone involved in designing Wotc products actually plays
    I agree with this but for different reasons... my problem is with them lowering the word counts of most of thier books and changing the formats of every thing so that prestige classes take 8 pages (most of it useless) Monsters take around 2 with the new format (again most of it uselss) and magic items take up like half a page (with lots of useless stuff)... so that we are getting less actual useful content for the same amount of money.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:37 pm  

    What exactly do you base that rant on?

    The last place demon lords were printed was the BoVD. The CRs there range from 20 for Juiblex to 30 for Demogorgon. Even Graz'zt was 20th level party bait at CR 24.
    Of the two available for preview so far, Yeenoghu drops from 22 to 20, and Juiblex drops from 20 to 19. Hardly a devastating loss of power.

    You might also want to check the table of contents preview. The first section of Chapter 3: Demon Lords is "Demonic Aspects" with the subsection "Making Epic Demon Lords."

    And, since you also seem to have forgotten, Q1 gave a 14th level party a fair chance of killing Lolth, not to mention Kyuss getting gacked by a 20th level party at the end of the Age of Worms.

    So I don't see whatever it is you think is there that is horrible.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3759
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:33 pm  

    Usually the army of fiends present on the demon lord’s home plane might bump up the CR of the encounter by a couple hundred. And those balor's (always have few of them around) have a nasty habit of lopping off heads to boot, not to mention the sheer viciousness of a marilith or three.

    But yes, I still think that demon lords should have little to fear from any mortal, unless they are lured into an area that screws them over, such as an ancient holy site that said demon lord is weakened at, or a situation that puts them in the presence of an artifact inimical to them. On their home plane such nasty beings should be pretty much inviolate, except to others of their own ilk or diametrically opposed immortal enemies of similar power. I explain Lolth away as being greedy and spreading her forces and power too thin. And her ego too. Well, it made for an interesting 1e adventure anyways. Even still, you run into maraliths and a balor or two (gods help you if those succubi makes some crazy rolls) in her spider ship.

    But one must also consider how "adventurer friendly" those old statted out demon lords were, not to mention giants and dragons. 2nd edition and beyond has bulked up these critters quite a bit more. Fiends are nastier now than ever before, as are their leaders. Kyuss was pretty much defeatable because he was in weakened state (by design or course). Who says Kyuss still won't ascend to a somewhat less lofty status though anyways?

    All that being said, the relative power of arch fiends of any sort will never be an issue in my campaign, as 20th level+ parties who have the means to hunt demon lords smacks of some 10-year old back in the day saying " And then we picked up the Deities & Demigods book and began choosing various pantheons to wipe out with our 125th level characters." I will never have demon lord hunters or deity hunters as a problem, mainly because my players (and myself) think it is utterly lame.

    If you run a campaign where there are 20th level+ characters running about with nothing better to do than hunt demon lords, then its time to beef up the demon lords and deity avatars. As the dm, you may have brought this event upon yourself, depending on what type of players you have. Perhaps it is time to retire those characters and start out with new ones. It sure would take a load off the dm having to write up CR 20+ stat blocks. Happy

    As a rule I'd have such immortals with a CR equal to that of the pc's + 10 at a minimum, with that only being brought more on par with the pc's through the use of special locations or artifacts that hinder said nasty in some way (think of the magic doors in the Temple of Elemental Evil and how they affect Zuggtmoy). And that is the immortal's basic CR, not including any minions they might have with them, and being demon LORDS they probably will have some of the most powerful, and perhaps even unique servants at their beck and call(such as a pale bugger named Vuron, goristroi, or some other freakish thing).

    Anyone can always view these new demon lord stats as being similar to an avatar. Those stats represent the relative power that the demon lord can manifest on the Material Plane. They might be a whole heck of a lot more powerful on their home plane. And so, powerful pc's then have a chance to banish a nasty demon lord from the Prime, but offing one on its home plane is quite another story. Adventure enabled, dead demon lords problem solved.

    Lastly, I'd rather have had a book on lesser fiends as monsters and more importantly on eh cults of the fiends and their abilities, similar to the thralls presented in BoVD, but in a book dedicated to just them and the nasty things they traffic with. This would be imminently more useful than stats on what amount to deities.

    For example,

    DM: “You enter the underground chamber hidden in the sewers of Greyhawk city and find a fiendish cult in the act of completing some horrific ritual."

    Rather than,

    DM: "You enter the underground chamber hidden in the sewers of Greyhawk city and find that you have interrupted Demogorgon, Orcus, Yeenoghu, Grazz't and Zuggtmoy's Tuesday night card game, and boy are they PISSED!"

    I think the first example is 99.99999999>% more likely to happen in most campaigns, so while the book has an "ooh ahh!" factor for statting out demon lords, the immediate usefulness of such things in the average campaign is next to nothing. This book may be similar to the book on deities than had little to no information/stats on the most relevant thing in game terms that has anything to do with deities- the priesthoods!!!(d'uh!). Players and dm's make use of priesthoods in every game session. Deities? Probably never(or at the most very seldom). I'll just stick with the BoVD and the Dragon articles with their generally nice thrall write-ups...unless of course there are huge sections on fiendish cults, thralls, and lots of lesser fiendish nasties in this new book and not just deballed archfiends. Wink
    _________________
    - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -


    Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3071
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:42 pm  

    Samwise wrote:
    Hardly a devastating loss of power.


    It is, compared to the power boost that other demons got. BoVD Juiblex could hold his own against a balor. FC1 Juiblex can't.

    I don't care for the BoVD stats at all - I think a cosmology where the ostensible rulers of the planes can't hold their own against aggressive deities is an unreasonable and poorly considered one. But the FC1 introduces something new (or, at least, not seen since 1980): a cosmology where the lords of the planes can't hold their own against nonunique demons of no particular status among their breed.

    Quote:
    not to mention Kyuss getting gacked by a 20th level party at the end of the Age of Worms.


    Not at his full power, he wasn't. If Juiblex's revised stats were the result of an artifact the PCs found rather than his natural full strength, they wouldn't be so silly.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 30, 2005
    Posts: 94


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:26 am  

    Could we please consider a little spoiler-protection for Age of Worms here? Yes, I know that it has been out for a while now, but some of us have only just managed to get our act together to run it as a campaign. My 1st level diviner is going to be setting out from Diamond Lake very shortly, and I could do without having plot points for the 20th level bit blown before I even start (on a thread that purported to be about demon princes, no less).
    CF Admin

    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 178
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:45 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    All that being said, the relative power of arch fiends of any sort will never be an issue in my campaign, as 20th level+ parties who have the means to hunt demon lords smacks of some 10-year old back in the day saying " And then we picked up the Deities & Demigods book and began choosing various pantheons to wipe out with our 125th level characters." I will never have demon lord hunters or deity hunters as a problem, mainly because my players (and myself) think it is utterly lame.


    While I have not purchased this book yet, the fact that they give a nod to Epic play is for my money, encouraging.
    What is interesting to note is that many people are only looking at the demon lords stats and forgetting about the minions and allies who will add to the difficultly of confronting such a being directly (the aforementioned BoVD accounted for that at least). That and the assumption that any PC party capable of direct interaction with such a being is surely overpowered and thus will end up using the Deities and Demigods book as some sort of monster manual or end up encountering three demon lords at the turn of a corner is just gamer snobbery. Demon lords make for good opponents at that level of play and its nice too see this book seems to address that fact.
    Its always nice to be compared to a 10 year old with a 125th level character just because you want to do some gaming based around a powerful being like a demon lord and another's sense of game balance is offended in the process. If you dont like that style of play too deal with, fine, great and good gaming to you and your players. But, if you have powerful opponents, such as demon lords in your campaign world that do more than just chew scenery and occupy space in a book, its better for players to be able to confront them either directly or have some sort of interaction with them above and beyond the mere DM background campaign obscura that style of gaming would confine them too.
    _________________
    Canonfire Community Supporter and Forum Justicar
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:18 am  

    Examining the dumbing down of demons, four difficulties immediately present themselves:

    1) Absolute value and consistency. Demons have had their absolute power or CR reduced in Fiendish Codex Vol. 1 Hordes of the Abyss. This reduction is absolute, without respect to how much any individual has been reduced. By one measure, it is fair to say that the cachet associated with demons as Big Bads has been lessened; the are less Big and less Bad. More importantly, there is no meta-setting explanation for why demons are suddenly less powerful - they just are. This is an issue as between editions but also an issue even within just the current edition. There is now an unexplained inconsistency that sees demons suddenly less powerful. Such an inconsistency effecting such iconic creatures needlessly throws a spanner into the meta-setting. Of course, some may rationalize it all away with - “We’ll just assume it always was that way” - which however intellectually vacuous may not be an issue, unless you have been using the demon princes at their former power levels, in which case your game now has need for adjustment.

    2) Comparative power in 3rd Edition. In the 3X version of the game, it takes much less time to progress from 1st Level to 20th Level. Indeed, the 3rd edition concept of the “adventure path” thrives on seeing characters rise from 1st to 20th Level in a series of 12 to 14 adventures. A 20th Level character is then not the achievement or rarity it was in earlier editions. It is more commonplace and demons, reduced to being suitable opponents for 20th level characters to defeat, are rendered more commonplace in turn. This runs exactly contrary to how demons have been used and have developed within the D&D mythology heretofore. Demons, as presented, are no more tough than an appropriately advanced monster or player character. Demons place in the D&D mythology as opponents for player characters has been redefined to make them less special.

    3) The illogic of lower power demon princes. Reducing the power of the demon princes creates internal inconsistencies when the Abyss is considered. Demon princes are now not that much more powerful than the creatures who they allegedly command and who allegedly fear them. Indeed, a number of other denizens of the Abyss are now intellectually on a par with the demon princes and more powerful, yet we are asked to believe that, without explanation, the demon princes somehow hold onto their positions and keep more powerful, equally powerful and nearly as powerful minions in check. Are demon princes now politicians among their own kind, ruling not through raw power and fear, but by coalition building and alliances among their chaotic evil fellows? Juiblex stumping for votes? Demogorgon proposing a ballot initiative? Grazzt invoking Roberts Rules of Order? The notion of lesser powered demon princes behaving in this way runs in the face of the prior mythology and is absurd on its face. By way of specific example, consider the Klurichir demon from the 3X Fiend Folio, CR 25, said to prey on weaker demons and to be tactically brilliant. Yeenoghu, picking a demon prince, is CR 20. Yeenoghu would be seen as weak by a Klurichir type. If the first Klurichir didn’t vanquish Yeenoghu, then the second, or the third, or the fourth, for Klurichir are not unique individuals but demons types. They will keep coming. Yeenoghu is toast at a lower CR, unless there is a good explanation. There is none offered in Fiendish Codex Vol. 1.

    4) Planar mechanics. Demons are the physical embodiment of metaphysical evil and demon princes are the greatest such embodiments. Demons are not just another race, like elves or orcs or even githyanki or mindflayers. They embody all that is quintessentially evil. They are evil given form. What are the 20th level characters who may now reasonably contemplate killing a demon prince? They embody what metaphysical principle? None. They represent what? The successful accumulation of experience, treasure and the acquisition of magic items. And this alone qualifies them to take down the purest manifestation of a metaphysical concept such as evil? There is no logic to this. What is more, allowing 20th level characters to destroy the physical embodiment of metaphysical evil denigrates the very notion of metaphysical evil. It ain’t so bad if a 20th level character, having risen to that station in 12 to 14 adventures, following an “adventure path,” can put down an evil that has supposedly held all in fear for millennia. It simply makes no sense.

    Of course, individuals can house rule matters in their home games but such is irrelevant to the presentation as given, as The Rules As Written (RAW). The RAW of Fiendish Codex Vol. 1 is poorly thought out, inconsistent, illogical and without explanation undermines some of the greatest mythology in D&D. Such can be dismissed only by those who either have no appreciation for the planes as they have been developed in D&D or are Wotc apologists or are simply being contrary, refusing to note the state of the emperor’s new clothes.

    The commonly espoused rational that “no one plays epic and most games end at 20th level” in no way addresses the harm done to the D&D mythology and in no way addresses the above issues. It merely creates a justification based on the perception that most players and Dms would find lower powered demon princes “more useful.” Of course, this ignores the fact that heretofore demon princes have been found so interesting by so many and “useful” precisely because they presented the challenge that has now been reduced.

    Further complicating matters, the very same authors who wrote the Fiendish Codex Vol. 1, when confronted on the issue of lesser powered demon princes, opine that Dungeon and Dragon will continue to present demon princes as more powerful entities. While a sop, this method of proceeding creates further inconsistencies within the meta-setting.

    I would like to have individual(s) responsible for the decision to lower the CR of the demon princes step forward and demonstrate the courage of their convictions, even if they can offer no rebuttal worthy of the name. Who decided that the CRs should be lowered?
    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 113
    From: Orland Hills, Illinois

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:10 am  

    I have yet to see this book so I am just giving a little rant.

    Dumbing down the demons, individually or collectively, in itself I feel does not make any difference unless
    A.A GM actually plans on having a group fight them (If it has stats, it can be killed...)
    B.One must have "canon" stats - to determine things like "What magic item can Grazzt create to seduce and corrupt Cool "
    C.You like the backstory to be consistent.

    The complaint is that Point C is not observed. That is that many of the WotC generic/general books are not sufficiently cohesive or scaled to each other. Each is scaled to be used with the Core Books for Points A and B. Most make it with observing Point C with the core books.

    But the non-core books to each other?
    With only using the Core Books, a CR25-CR30 demon prince should be more than enough to toast a party. Not quite true because 3.5 put in the basics of Epic Level. Ignore that for the moment. But as GVDammerung points out in his Klurichir demon type example, there is an entire race of CR20 demons running around that could eventually take out one of the demon lords. Yet the Klurichir is an appropriate CR20 challenge. Both of these are great for a party to fight. So it is that the backstory itself that is inconsistent between products.

    This is not to say that there are still not problems. Epic Level Handbook and Deities and Demigods is not scaled to each other and still cause problems to this day with my Point A

    Still, I have maintained, just the demon's Divine Rank 1 and they get lots more goodies.

    From Book of Vile Darkness:
    Quote:
    Archfiends and Clerics
    The demon lords and archdevils described in this chapter cannot grant spells to clerics. Instead, they act as patrons for clerics who devote themselves to abstract sources of divine power, and they assist the clerics of evil gods. They have worshipers who perform sacrifices in their name, but they don’t run organized religions the way gods do.

    If you want the demon lords and archdevils to have organized faiths and grant spells, it’s easy to do so. Chapter 6 identifies which domains each archfiend would be associated with (see the Cleric Domains section in the spell lists). If you have the Deities and Demigods book, you can give each demon lord and archdevil divine rank 1 and adjust their statistics accordingly. This divine rank will give them maximum hit points for each Hit Die; more spell-like abilities; some extra immunities and sensory abilities; a +1 bonus to Armor Class, attacks, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks; and a scattering of other divine abilities. In practical terms, the demon lords and archdevils are powerful enough already that giving them a divine rank doesn’t make a huge difference.


    and Deities and Demigods
    Quote:

    Deities receive maximum hit points for each Hit Die.
    Armor Class: +1 This bonus stacks with all other Armor Class bonuses and is effective against touch attacks and incorporeal touch attacks.
    Most deities (all those with 20 outsider Hit Dice) have a natural armor bonus of their divine rank +13 (thus +14). All deities also have a deflection bonus to their AC equal to their Charisma bonus (if any)

    Attacks: A deity gets its divine rank as a divine bonus on all attack rolls. Deities of rank 1 or higher do not automatically fail on a natural attack roll of 1.

    Saving Throws: A deity gets its divine rank as a divine bonus on all saving throws. Deities of rank 1 or higher do not automatically fail on a natural saving throw roll of 1.

    Checks: A deity gets its divine rank as a divine bonus on all skill checks, ability checks, caster level checks, and turning checks.

    Immunities:
    Transmutation: A deity is immune to polymorphing, petrification, or any other attack that alters its form. Any shape-altering powers the deity might have work normally on itself.
    Energy Drain, Ability Drain, Ability Damage: A deity is not subject to energy drain, ability drain, or ability damage.
    Mind-Affecting Effects: A deity is immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
    Energy Immunity: Deities of rank 1 or higher are immune to electricity, cold, and acid, even if the attacker is a deity of higher divine rank. Some deities have additional energy immunities.

    Deities of rank 1 or higher are immune to disease and poison, stunning, sleep, paralysis, and death effects, and disintegration.

    Damage Reduction: A deity has damage reduction of 35 + its divine rank/+4.

    If the deity also has damage reduction from another source, such as barbarian class levels, this damage reduction does not stack with the damage reduction granted by divine ranks. Instead, the deity gets the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation.

    Resistances: All deities have at least the following resistances. Individual deities may have additional resistances.
    Energy Resistance: A deity has fire resistance of 20 + its divine rank.
    Spell Resistance: A deity has spell resistance of 32 + its divine rank.

    Salient Divine Abilities: Every deity of rank 1 or higher has at least one additional power, called a salient divine ability, per divine rank.


    Sign them up! I don't agree that giving them Divine Rank does not make a huge difference. It really does. But it is true, why did I need two books to get to that point to make them tougher than the Klurichir?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:30 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    It is, compared to the power boost that other demons got. BoVD Juiblex could hold his own against a balor. FC1 Juiblex can't.


    Since we don't have stats for an aspect of a balor, I don't think that is a fair comparison.
    It is like fighting a "Bit o' Moander" in one of those original D&D CRPGs.

    [quoteI don't care for the BoVD stats at all - I think a cosmology where the ostensible rulers of the planes can't hold their own against aggressive deities is an unreasonable and poorly considered one. But the FC1 introduces something new (or, at least, not seen since 1980): a cosmology where the lords of the planes can't hold their own against nonunique demons of no particular status among their breed.[/quote]

    I agree about BoVD. I think it represented an irritating compromise with D&DG and the ELH not yet released. Note even the CR 30/HD 39 Demogorgon had no epic feats in that.
    FC1 at least acknowledges these as Aspects, and that is definitely an improvement.
    And of course, we can not discount power creep. Balors went from CR 18 to CR 20. Juiblex could stand against one as written in the BoVD. (Not to mention Juiblex vs a balor being a pretty close thing if the balor could find a +2 weapon back in 1st ed.) Likewise the epic ordinary demons didn't exist when the BoVD was written. Obviously someone decided not to fight them, and just use lower CR Aspects for FC 1. (And presumably the other volumes.) I see nothing wrong with that.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:35 am  

    Quote:
    Examining the dumbing down of demons, four difficulties immediately present themselves:

    1) Absolute value and consistency. Demons have had their absolute power or CR reduced in Fiendish Codex Vol. 1 Hordes of the Abyss. This reduction is absolute, without respect to how much any individual has been reduced.


    No they haven't.
    Their power is lower for five from the BoVD, but as no positive statement exists about what those write ups represented, the concept of the Aspect not yet existing. Even their status as deities was not established, with the possibility being open for them being granted Divine Rank 1 and changing their power.
    Compared to previous writes ups in 1st and 2nd ed, their power is significantly greater.

    Quote:
    2) Comparative power in 3rd Edition.


    Irrelevant. Demon lords in 1st ed were significantly easier for PCs below 20th level to take out. I point again to Lolth being an opponent in an adventure for 14th level PCs. There are more.

    Quote:
    3) The illogic of lower power demon princes. Reducing the power of the demon princes creates internal inconsistencies when the Abyss is considered.


    Only if these represent the actual form of the demon lord without any alteration. If these are just aspects, this is irrelevant.

    Quote:
    4) Planar mechanics. Demons are the physical embodiment of metaphysical evil and demon princes are the greatest such embodiments. Demons are not just another race, like elves or orcs or even githyanki or mindflayers. They embody all that is quintessentially evil. They are evil given form.


    This is one of the old complaints about never playing PS. Upon examination, it is easily exploded. If we take at face value, how can PCs kill a balor, or vrock, or even a pathetic dretch? Are they not equally physical embodiments of metaphysical evil?
    No, from the moment demons appeared as monsters they have been slayable by PCs.

    Quote:
    The commonly espoused rational that “no one plays epic and most games end at 20th level” in no way addresses the harm done to the D&D mythology and in no way addresses the above issues. It merely creates a justification based on the perception that most players and Dms would find lower powered demon princes “more useful.” Of course, this ignores the fact that heretofore demon princes have been found so interesting by so many and “useful” precisely because they presented the challenge that has now been reduced.


    And so a question you were asked elsewhere is relevant:
    Would you be satisified if they were sword fodder for 25th level parties?
    I fail to see the grand distinction between someone with a mere 5 epic levels suddenly being able to slaughter such embodiments. Why not just 1 epic level? Why not require 50 epic levels? Just because someone buys another book they can now suddenly fight and slay demon princes? If you want corporate absurdity, I doubt you can beat that.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3071
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:30 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    FC1 at least acknowledges these as Aspects


    From the reports of those who have seen the book, it doesn't. Those are their true forms.

    You can certainly use them as aspects as you want, and in that respect this is no big deal and hardly worth complaining about. You can rewrite their stats, too, adding class levels, hit dice, and divine ranks until they meet whatever criteria you want them to meet. But if we're discussing what's actually in the book, I think it's a valid complaint.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:42 am  

    Samwise days ::snip::

    a) 1 is less that 2. If 2 is reduced to 1, its absolute rank has been reduced. In absolute terms, the demon princes were reduced.

    The BoVD presented the demon princes stats as their stats with no caveat. You may suppose or attempt a retcon but on its face, within the four corners of the document - those were the demon princes. Nothing suggests otherwise.


    b) Comparative power in 3rd Edition is relevant as 3rd Edition presents its own internal "logic." By that "logic," reducing the demonlord's power makes them much more akin to just another monster.

    c) To the best of our knowledge, those are the demon lords as there is no caveat, nor even an official retcon.

    d) It is a matter of scale, not a zero sum proposition. Not all demons equally embody metaphysical evil to the same degree or their stats would not vary so widely.

    e) Sword fodder for 25th level parties, as opposed to 20th level parties, would be preferable as at least being more consistent with the nature of demons. Would it be perfect? No. I do not believe demon princes should be capable of being permanently slain by mortals. But since that isn't official, I'll take what I can get, so 25 is better than 20.
    _________________
    GVD
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:36 am  

    I somehow missed this earlier but we have a mea culpa. It was not some Wotcer who decided to downgrade the demon princes but James Jacobs, the same James Jacobs who has written the Demonomicon entries in the Dragon. He did do for basically the reasons I recounted above and the stats were supposed to represent the demon lords when encountered off their home plane but that got left on the cutting room floor. The mind boggles but out of respect for those Demonomicon articles, I can't think of much else there is to say. ::shakes head::
    _________________
    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 101


    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:12 pm  

    I personally think 3rd edition rules completely break down once characters get above 15th level. Challenge Ratings are of dubious utility at the lower end of things, and complete bunk once you get into Epic levels. So I can't say I am going to get worked up over this...


    Wait, I just had an idea... The Greyhawk City Arena presents Ultimate Fighting Championship Demon Princes Edition or UFCDPE for short.

    All 20th level parties on Oerth should preregister for this event where Grazzt and company will face off against them man-o-v.-demon-o, come one come all!

    On second thought, skip that, I think I will leave the Demon Princes on the outer planes (and preferably as pullers-of-strings).
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 898
    From: Computer Desk

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:50 pm  

    I am a little shocked at the obsession with stats; in my view no self-respecting Deity or Demon Lord would lower himself/herself to person combat with mortal beings, torture perhaps but to trade blows is just sooooo common.

    That's what their armies of followers exist for to handle petty problems like upstart PCs they have more important plans and concerns to handle.

    So regardless of there stats; you would never find a Deity or Demon Lord waiting on his plane so he can engage in combat like a common street thug, how humiliating!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 113
    From: Orland Hills, Illinois

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:21 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    That's what their armies of followers exist for to handle petty problems like upstart PCs they have more important plans and concerns to handle.

    So regardless of there stats; you would never find a Deity or Demon Lord waiting on his plane so he can engage in combat like a common street thug, how humiliating!


    If they must personally be involved at some level, they have Aspects, Proxies and Avatars. And they still have armies, none the less. This just another one of those things that became different because of 3.0/3.5.

    On the other hand, I am sad to say I was one of who was 10-15 when 1st ed was out and had very much had my mind, "if it has stats, it can be killed". I am 41 now. Seriously, for anyone older than me, what was the reason for putting out 1st ed Deities and Demigods with stats?

    2nd edit at least made the gods with no stats. Only the avatars had them.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:15 pm  

    Quote:
    a) 1 is less that 2. If 2 is reduced to 1, its absolute rank has been reduced. In absolute terms, the demon princes were reduced.

    The BoVD presented the demon princes stats as their stats with no caveat. You may suppose or attempt a retcon but on its face, within the four corners of the document - those were the demon princes. Nothing suggests otherwise.


    Except you said "absolute value and consistency."
    Since the FC 1 contains (based on statements elsewhere, such as this months Dragon article on Kostchtchie) instructions on how to advance these, it is safe to say these are intended as a minimal representation of the demon lords. As such, in absolute terms, they have not been reduced, merely is this relative presentation.

    Quote:
    b) Comparative power in 3rd Edition is relevant as 3rd Edition presents its own internal "logic." By that "logic," reducing the demonlord's power makes them much more akin to just another monster.


    As the possibility of giving the demon lords divine ranks is explicitly stated, then by that very internal logic, they are made more powerful.

    Quote:
    c) To the best of our knowledge, those are the demon lords as there is no caveat, nor even an official retcon.


    Which behooves us to wait until we are fully informed before running off willy-nilly, complaining of something that might not even exist. For example, a sidebar on the stats for Kostchtchie contains this line:
    "If your campaign needs an even tougher Prince of Wrath, you can advance Kostchtchie's statistics even further, either using the method presented in Fiendish Codex I or the standard rules for advancing outsiders detailed in the Mosnter Manual."
    So obviously there is a caveat, and some other statement regarding them.

    Quote:
    d) It is a matter of scale, not a zero sum proposition. Not all demons equally embody metaphysical evil to the same degree or their stats would not vary so widely.


    So then there should be nothing wrong with an aspect of a demon lord being a mere CR 19-21.

    Quote:
    e) Sword fodder for 25th level parties, as opposed to 20th level parties, would be preferable as at least being more consistent with the nature of demons. Would it be perfect? No. I do not believe demon princes should be capable of being permanently slain by mortals. But since that isn't official, I'll take what I can get, so 25 is better than 20.


    Then given them a divine level. That is in fact an official option.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2006
    Posts: 14


    Send private message
    Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:16 am  

    If the Demon Lords' debacle pisses you off, wait til you get to the rest of the book. The only thing I've really enjoyed is the creature section and the write-ups on the planes themselves. The other stuff hasn't really grabbed me whatsoever.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
    Posts: 155


    Send private message
    Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:06 pm  

    I wrote the text below in a brazilian forum some time ago and now it´s finally translated (as usual, please forgive any grammatical errors). Perhaps it can help both sides who want an epic demon lord and those who want to confront a more manageable fiend:

    I like to think the demon lords´ stats in FC I as their earthly shell when they do appear at the material plane (thus being more vulnerable and suscetible to defeat at the hands of a non-epic party). However, the closer a demon lord stays to his home plane and layer, the more powerful it grows. In game terms, they acquire a sort of "virtual divine ranks", being strongest when dwelling at their personal abyssal demesnes (or place of power).

    This "power anchorage" is the weakness that sets the fiendish lords apart from the true gods while answers questions like "why the god XXXX
    hasn´t kicked demogorgon´s butt yet" . The virtual divine ranks makes the death of a demon lord at his layer a very difficult business at best. IMHO, I imagine the most powerful lower-plane entities possessing up to (or almost) the status of lesser gods. So, I consider divine rank 5 the apex of power for a demon lord, before it achieves true godhood (but this limited divinity does allow the fiend to have clerics, rangers, unholy warriors and blackguards, if the DM allows). As the might of a fiendish lord is intrinsically related to his planar domain, such entity can be more or less powerful, according to the layer it comands. The following guideline may be used to measure the demon lord´s divine ranks, depending where it stands at the Multiverse:


    Place: Prime Material Plane
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)


    Place: Transitive planes far from the Abyss (Ethereal Plane/ Plane of Shadow)
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)


    Place: Inner Planes (Elemental Planes, Positive/Negative Energy Planes)
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats) + Divine Rank 0* (Quasi-Deity)

    * Some entities may derive benefit from portfolio/concept as demon lord (and from their granted domains) and receive Divine Rank 1 instead. For example, The Demon Prince of the Undead, Orcus, has Divine Rank 1 at the Negative Plane while Demogorgon has Rank 1 at the Plane of Water. If a fiendish lord has a greater connection with the Plane of Shadow (Pale Night, perhaps?), Ethereal Plane or Material Plane, consider they get a Divine Rank of zero in addition to their stats described at Fiendish Codex. To attain a strong link to a distant and neutral place like the Material Plane, it´s needed a great congregation of cultists in a given region, the use of artifacts and the dedication/desecration of a site in the name of the demon lord. So, for the mortals who desire to engage a demon lord at loose in Oerth, it may be wise to weaken such "convergence points" in order to weaken it and avoid a fight against a divinely-empowered opponent.


    Place: Transitive Plane near the Abyss (Astral Plane)
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)+ Divine Rank 1

    At this plane, there is enough proximity to the lower plane to the fiendish lord amass a foothold of divine might, though the consequences of a defeat at the astral plane may well convince the demon lord to avoid risky fights (see below)


    Place: Outer Plane whose alignment planar traits (DMG 3.5/Manual of the Planes 3E) are neither evil or chaotic.
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)+ Divine Rank 1

    Note: These local planar traits affect the Demon Lord, regardless of their quantitative strenght (i.e a mildly-aligned or a strongly-aligned plane has the same effect, no matter if the alighnent is evil, chaotic, good or lawful)


    Place: Outer Plane whose alignment planar traits are EITHER evil or chaotic.
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)+ Divine Rank 2

    For those who liked the Planescape conflicts which aimed the growth of influence of a certain alignment at the planes, here´s a good reason, backed by game rules: more chaotic/evil landscapes mean more territory for a demon lord exert its virtual divine ranks. Of course, entities like archdevils will want to change these terrains to a lawful & evil aligned ground, while yugoloths masters are an exception to the rule of quantitative alignment strenght: they derive greatest strenght (Divine Rank 2) only at strongly-evil aligned planes


    Place: Outer Plane whose alignment planar traits are evil AND chaotic.
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)+ Divine Rank 3

    At the D&D cosmology, the Abyss is the only plane that is both chaotic & evil. I must stress a point here: spells like Planar Bubble and Precipitate Breach (both from Planar Handbook) can substitute the local alignment planar trait, at the spellcaster´s choice. But I do NOT advise these spells (or magic itens or any related class ability) being able to concede, even temporarily, divine ranks to demon lords. I think it´s unbalancing to let lowly mortal spells grant such might. Further, this could create an endless war among demons, devils, exalted celestials and slaad nobles, backed almost exclusively on those spells. However, If the DM wants to create a portable power source that is able to grant such ability, I´d recomend that this resource takes the form of a major artifact, coveted like a Holy Grail by all the major figures of the Multiverse.


    Place: Abyss - layer(s) ruled by the demon lord
    Power: Epic mortal creature (Fiendish Codex´s stats)+ Divine Rank 3 +
    + 0-2 extra Divine Ranks, depending of degree of the link and control the demon lord exerts over the layer(s).

    Some demon lords like Yeenoghu and Jubilex possess a weak hold over their layer and do not possess additional benefit while others represent the "creme de la creme" of the Abyss and are almost true gods, like Orcus, Grazz´t and Demogorgon. Making a comparison, Iuz (Divine Rank 3) can easily crush Yeenoghu at the Material Plane, but would think twice before claiming a domain held by the lord of the gnolls.


    Place: Demiplanes
    Power: Generally speaking, it´ll depend on which plane the demiplane connects to, but an abnormally strong or weak abyssal link with the Abyss is possible, regardless of the demiplane´s location.


    The death of a demon lord

    When a demon lord is destroyed, it suffers a loss of power proportional to the strenght of its essence at the plane of its defeat. That means Orcus may be more difficult to vanquish at the astral plane than at the material plane, but the consequences of its death will be much direr. Usually, unless the demon lord´s soul is imprisioned, it will be banished back to its abyssal domain and return to life with a newly-created body 24 hours later. However, the fiend may lose a portion of its virtual divine ranks and will be unable to manifest, for a given time, at the plane it was destroyed.


    Place of death: Material Plane, Ethereal Plane, Plane of Shadows
    Consequences: Banishment of the abyssal soul back to his home layer and incapacity to manifest at the plane of defeat for 10 years (100 years if the demon lord had divine rank zero at that plane). Spells like plane shift and gate simply fail to transport the demon lord to that plane.


    Place of death: Elemental Planes, Positive & Negative Planes
    Consequences: Banishment of the abyssal soul back to his home layer and incapacity to manifest at the plane of defeat for 100 years; -1 Divine Rank for 100 years (this limitation applies at ALL the planes of the multiverse; if the demon lord formerly possessed Divine rank 0 at a given plane, it will have only the epic mortal creature´s stats there).


    Place of death: Astral Plane, Non-evil & Non-chaotic aligned outer plane
    Consequences: Banishment of the abyssal soul back to his home layer and incapacity to manifest at the plane of defeat for 100 years; -1 Divine Rank for 100 years.

    Note: The incapacity to manifest at the Astral Plane bars the use of Greater Teleport (a.k.a Teleport without error), among other spells! For that reason, demon lords avoid confrontations at the Astral Plane whenever possible.


    Place of death: Evil OR chaotic-aligned outer plane
    Consequences: Banishment of the abyssal soul back to his home layer and incapacity to manifest at the plane of defeat for 100 years; -2 Divine Ranks for 100 years.


    Place of death: Abyss (layer not under the demon lord´s control)
    Consequences: Banishment of the abyssal soul back to his home layer and incapacity to manifest OUT OF ITS DOMAIN LAYER for 100 years; -3 Divine Ranks for 100 years.


    Place of Death: Abyss (demon lord´s home layer)
    Consequences: Permanent death of the demon lord, unless there´s a special safeguard against this (like Orcus´ return).


    Finally, to illustrate an example, I posted below the modified stats of Yeenoghu at its home layer. The original, mortal stats of the lord of gnolls can be found at the WotC´s site:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060605a&page=2

    Yeenoghu at his abyssal domain (Divine Rank 3)

    Hp: maximized. 24d8 + 11x24 = 456 (originally 372)

    AC: +16 natural armor which don´t stack with the +19 natural of the mortal stats, so it doesn´t change. However, Yeenoghu´s charisma grants him +6 deflection = AC 51

    Attack: +3 adittional at attack rolls, doesn´t automatically fail with "1" =

    * triple flail +34/+29/+24/+19 (3d6+25)
    (power attack included)

    Saves: doesn´t automatically fail with "1"

    Immunities: Gains immunity to shape-altering effects (polymorph, pertification, etc), mind-affecting effects, stunning, sleep, paralysis, death effects, death from massive damage, disintegration, acid, cold (Yeenoghu was already immune to poison and electricity)

    Damage Reduction: DR 38/+4 at 3.0; at 3.5 I´d apply 20/Epic or mantain 20/cold iron & good

    Fire Resistance 23

    Spell Resistance: 35 (was SR 31)

    Salient Divine abilities 3 (see below)

    Domain powers: Access to domains´s granted powers (Chaos, Demonic, Evil, and Fury), and if any of them has a limit of 1/day, it´s 3/day for Yeenoghu. Cleric level, if needed, is 3 (really)

    Spell-like abilities: May cast any spell of his domains (Chaos, Demonic, Evil, and Fury) as a spell-like ability, at will, Caster level 13. DC 19+ spell level

    Senses: Normal sight, darkvision and scent expand up to 3 miles from his current location.

    Remote Sensing: Can observe everything at one mile of his worship sites simultaneously, up to 2 locations at a time. May block the perception of demigods of rank 3 or lesser at these places.

    Portfolio sense: Feels any event related to his portfolio that envolves at least 1000 people.

    Automatic actions: May perform up to 2 free actions/round regarding dice rolls that concern his portfolio (like intimidate ckecks) as long their DC don´t exceed 15.

    Create magic itens: Yeenoghu can create magic itens of market price up to 4500 gp, if such are related to spells of his domains.

    Aura: All mortals at 30 ft of Yeenoghu must make a Will Save DC 19 to avoid being shaken (or frightened if Yeenoghu so desires). Theoretically, the demon lord could create fascination/resolve auras, but I thought it would be more appropriate to restrict the effects to fear alone.

    Spells: Yeenoghu can concede spells to rangers and clerics (and Blackguards and unholy warriors, why not)

    Communication: Yeenoghu speaks, understands and can talk up to a 3-mile distance. Can contact, with telepathy or not, any follower (or a creature that is located up to 3 miles of a place desecrated in his name), being able to sustain up to 2 such conversations at a time (it counts toward the maximum number of uses of the remote sensing ability)

    Godly realm: May alter non-damaging weather conditions (and other subtle changes) in his realm at a 300-ft radius.

    Divine Salient Abilities: 3

    a) Battlesense (can´t be surprised, flanked; immune to sneak attacks)

    b) Wound enemy (+1d6 bleeding damage per hit)

    c) Divine Inspiration (Rage & frenzy only, Will DC 19)

    If Yeenoghu´s official stats had the pre-requisites, I´d change Divine Inspiration for the divine salient ability Irresistible blows to improve his attacks with the triple flail (balancing the relative weakness of his attack roll) through the use of touch attacks + 1d10 rounds of stunning (Fort DC 24 negates).
    [/u]
    _________________
    Kneel before Rahu!

    Victor Caminha
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 07, 2003
    Posts: 636


    Send private message
    Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:24 am  

    I just bought the latest Dragon with stats for Kostchitiechchichie (whatever). Haven't read the full write up but it appears to me that the Codex was designed to set the demon lords at CR20 deliberately for those DMs who want to run non-epic games, with rules for advancing the lords in exactly the same way that other monsters can be advanced for those dms that want tougher demon lords. That seems quite a reasonable approach to me.

    The other option of divine ranks also works. I vaguely recall that gods in 1e (who only used to get up to 400hp for criminy's sake) used to get double hit points in their home lairs and so giving demons divine ranks in similar circumstances seems a reasonable and workable way to make them tougher on their home turf.

    People seem sore because a version of the demon lords that would suit their own campaign hasn't been listed in official print. Sadly, you can't please all of the people all of the time. If you want tougher demon lords, use the rules in the book to advance them!
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
    Posts: 155


    Send private message
    Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:26 am  

    > Sadly, you can't please all of the people all of the time. If you want tougher demon lords, use the rules in the book to advance them!


    PaulN6, I blame the Epic Level Handbook for that. ;-)

    I´m not sure however, how exactly the divine ranks added in the scale above would influence the CR of each demon lord. The revamped Yeenoghu, for me, has a CR of 25-26.
    _________________
    Kneel before Rahu!

    Victor Caminha
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:30 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    People seem sore because a version of the demon lords that would suit their own campaign hasn't been listed in official print.


    Point of order - the objection of many is not that they do not fit a particular personal campaign, rather, the complaint is that they do not fit with the established mythology of D&D itself - the metasetting, if you will.
    _________________
    GVD
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:00 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Point of order - the objection of many is not that they do not fit a particular personal campaign, rather, the complaint is that they do not fit with the established mythology of D&D itself - the metasetting, if you will.


    Except they do.
    There is nothing in the established mythology of D&D itself that says a party of 15th level PCs can't fight and defeat a demon lord.
    At least not unless you dismiss Queen of the Demonweb Pits as nont being canon because of personal preference.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3071
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:35 am  

    The mythology of the game does, however, put the demon lords at a status equal to that of at least lesser gods, and there are many examples of fiendish lords and gods fighting with the outcome of such a struggle in doubt.

    Perhaps the real "crime" against the mythology of the game was the 3rd edition Deities & Demigods, which set the bar for most deities so much higher than mortals. Regardless, there's a problem with a CR 20 Yeenoghu and CR 23 Demogorgon. A cosmology where fiendish rulers cannot hold their own against ambitious or vengeful gods - or even their own servants - is an inconsistent one.

    I don't personally much care if something is "canon" or not - I don't think the word has any meaning at this stage of the game. Q1 doesn't work within the parameters of the cosmology as it's currently set without serious tweaking. If Lolth was a lesser god, as the module said she was, a 15th level party has little chance against her.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    [ 1, 2  Next]
    Page 1 of 2

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.38 Seconds