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Reshuffling Devils and Demons in 4e - Oh My!
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuffling from main thread, oh my! Reply with quote

Gravenhurst wrote:
Greyhawk is using the default Nature of Religions and Nature of Divinity from 3.0E Deities & Demigods so demon lords and devil princes can not start as a god, but becoming one is another story.


I'd just like to point out that this is completely false on an objective level. Greyhawk was designed to function within the 1st edition rules, not the 3e rules. While any rules can be used with Greyhawk (they don't even have to be D&D), you can't make a valid argument that rules written 20 years after the campaign setting was produced are "the way things are."

The campaign material... at least the material produced for the first 10 years of the campaign's existance... includes the assumption that all demon lords and archdevils are functionally equivalent to lesser gods (and lesser gods before the advent of "intermediate gods" for that matter).

The Demonlords like Zuggtmoy, Demogorgon, Yeenoghu, Orcus, Lolth, etc are fully capable of granting clerical spells and powers to their followers the same as any god. There are many adventures published in which this is a core assumption. Temple of Elemental Evil and Vault of the Drow for the big ones, plus many many smaller ones (such as Dungeon magazine ones).

You can certainly have a background story about how gods are of a different nature than Demonlords... that's easy. In fact, it should almost be assumed. But the step from that to 3e's Divine Might rankings that put the gods head and shoulders above the demon lords in power and ability is substantial and contrary to Greyhawk's assumptions.

Heironeous is not kicking Demogorgon's butt at will, because Heironeous is simply not more powerful than Demogorgon in the way a bunch of extra divine might would indicate. The Forgotten Realms is a very good example of a campaign world designed in line with the 2e/3e model of gods (though the first FR boxed set did come out a bit before 2e). The demonlords are basically irrelevant... its all about the evil gods and their followers because they totally outclass the demonlords. In Greyhawk, it was almost always about the demonlords as megavillians rather than the evil gods. That's been diluted recently with the "everything is really Tharizdun" fetish but that's clearly revisionist.

(And no, I am not denying anyone the right to do whatever the frick they want in their campaign, just pointing out a limit of argument by authority in this case).
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PaulN6
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fairness, many lesser gods had slightly more hp than many demon lords in 1e plus a number of divine magical abilities. If the god had 17+ levels of fighter they would have had better attack rolls, if they had spell-casting classes they would have had access to a whole load of spells etc. So the gods had a slight edge over the demon lords. Greater gods had even more powers and up to double the hp of the most powerful demons and devils (Lolth originally only had 66hp but had the maximum AC it was possible to have while in spider form or spell-casting powers in drow form).

So yes, demon lords were slightly underpowered to keep them scheming instead of smiting but they were not gods and thus could interfere on the Prime Material when the 'real' gods could not.

I agree that I don't really want them to be gods per se, I've always been happy with the distinction even if they are treated as gods in everything but name. Lolth will always be a demon queen to me Wink
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Gravenhurst
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: Shuffling from main thread, oh my! Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd just like to point out that this is completely false on an objective level. Greyhawk was designed to function within the 1st edition rules, not the 3e rules. While any rules can be used with Greyhawk (they don't even have to be D&D), you can't make a valid argument that rules written 20 years after the campaign setting was produced are "the way things are."


Do you and most Greyhawk/Canonfire fans use Demon Princes and Devil Lords as lesser deities? And all material, including published products in 2ndE defer to them as deities and not just an epic demon or devil llike in 3E? What is the sensus on this? have fans kept demons as lesser gods or changed them to follow the 3E rules?

Quote:
The campaign material... at least the material produced for the first 10 years of the campaign's existance... includes the assumption that all demon lords and archdevils are functionally equivalent to lesser gods (and lesser gods before the advent of "intermediate gods" for that matter).


Sorry, I bow down to 1stE canon, it is hard to keep within the context of Greyhawks humble beginings when so much more has been developed apart from Greyhawk - I am more familiar with non-Greyhawk, I will admit - with continuity. And of course my personal view keeps blending with facts and personal tastes on how or why I like certain things about WoG, such as I keep mentioning about Lolth only being a demoness and not a goddess because I have used 3E as my choice of her origin history. And I haven't seperated the two views at times, like I did know about Demon Princes and Devil Lords were lesser gods in 1stE but I keep refering to 3E.

This thread has opened up more to my own personal delimma about the demons origin (Lolth is just a facet of that debate) than with the 4thE approach of melding demons into devils but keeping demons as a devil sub-type idea. I still agree on doing away with demons compared to devils as the cast out race from heaven idea, but now I see the value in the demon's heritage with in Greyhawk's lore. But, as I have suggested way's of changing demons to a more monstrous approach to represent chaotic evil, I will continue to remake demon's image befitting to my own idea of what best represents chaos. And it seems that Greyhawk has always been that way with demons, even with Lolth!

In sticking with origins in 1stE I think I will be keeping the demon Princes as quasi rank (not lesser) but with no divinity to enable worshippers with spells from worshipping. As I believe in keeping dieties closer to the biblical or mythical story line. And I have contemplated in doing away with evil deities for typical races as I have believed they don't fit the profile to best representing evil at its best; only devils and demons exemplify true evil at their core in my world. Deities are best left to support an evil idea than the embodiment of evil, so Demon Princes and Devil Lords should already be of a quasi rank, if mortals are able to achieve the same rank!
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuffling from main thread, oh my! Reply with quote

Gravenhurst wrote:
Quote:
Do you and most Greyhawk/Canonfire fans use Demon Princes and Devil Lords as lesser deities? And all material, including published products in 2ndE defer to them as deities and not just an epic demon or devil llike in 3E? What is the sensus on this? have fans kept demons as lesser gods or changed them to follow the 3E rules?


For what it is worth, I have demonic cults in various places of Greyhawk. I think it fits in better with the 1st edition feel which is what I strive for though I use 3.5 rules. I don't have very many cults but do give them to some of the more powerful individuals who were more well known and feared around the gaming table when I first started playing, such as Demogorgon and Asmodeus. There are a few others in which I would have human cults but perhaps only another 3-4 demons and devils. Sprinkled throughout Greyhawk material from 1st through 3.5 are Greyhawk references to demonic cults anyway.

The demons/devils who have worshippers receive the abilties within their monster descriptions, nothing more. I don't give them any kind of divine abilities such as those found in Deities and Demigods. I will access Dragon magazine articles that are more recent and offer good insights on the creature. The worshippers themselves do not have any spells unless I decide that they are granted through an actual evil deity. They do not come from the demon or devil. These spells which would be very rare would come from an arrangement between the deity and the demonic force in question (much like the Return to the Elemental Evil module presentation). The clerics believe they get the spells from the demon/devil as do the cult members. The only ones in the true know, are the demonic force and the deity involved. Essentially, the demonic force gets the exposure their looking for and the deity gets something from the demonic force. I haven't worried about what they get until it comes up in a plot for the game. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use demonic and diabloc cults as well, and they have alwys been able to be granted spells from their patrons since I began making use o them in 1e. I have basically ignored any text that stated arch-devils or demonlords couldn't grant spells to their followers, or that those spells really came from other evil deities(which I think is 100% lame).
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion said:
Quote:
I have basically ignored any text that stated arch-devils or demonlords couldn't grant spells to their followers, or that those spells really came from other evil deities(which I think is 100% lame).


Ouch Cebrion, guess I'm lame. Oh well.Happy Your solution is good, simple and direct. Exactly how the spells were derived really wasn't an issue for me at this time, having the cult exist was. When the times comes (if it ever does) that a defined reasoning needs to be provided I shall choose to put more thought into it.
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eileen, I think he meant the fudge that 3e used saying that Erythnul was granting Yeenoghu's gnoll clerics their spells in exchange for unspecified favors was 100% lame. Not simply using the thralls of concept instead of clerics or them not having clerics at all. That's fine, its just different than the original conception.

Pauln6,

I can't say that the actual stats of the demonlords or the gods ever actually mattered in my campaign. I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of gods were statted out tougher than the demonlords in the MM. I was just saying that the two groups were in the same general league. Like elves and humans are in the same general league as a whole.

Gravenhurst,

The material does not refer to them as deities. But it does have clerics of the demon lords and so on, which is the only important distinction between demon lords and gods in mechanical terms unless you are big into epic play. In the Queen of the Demonweb Pits, it mentions that Lolth also has a variety of divine powers that the DM could have her use but doing so would pretty much make the adventure a suicide mission. Zuggtmoy doesn't have her full range of powers when she's released from the Temple of Elemental Evil and isn't statted with all the god powers.


If you want to approach things with a more typical polytheistic pantheon and their enemies system with the gods on one side and the demons (and/or devils) on the other side, I can give you some suggestions on that score. There are perfectly valid uses for evil deities who oppose the hordes of the abyss.
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vomorian wrote:
Quote:
Eileen, I think he meant the fudge that 3e used saying that Erythnul was granting Yeenoghu's gnoll clerics their spells in exchange for unspecified favors was 100% lame. Not simply using the thralls of concept instead of clerics or them not having clerics at all. That's fine, its just different than the original conception.


It's ok, if I had been upset I wouldn't have left a smilie. Cebrion's pretty straight forward and blunt (which is ok) sometimes it makes interpretation difficult for me. No big deal. I only cried for 3 hours, went through 4 boxes of tissues, called up 6 friends, broke off my engagement, and drove the car in the ditch, so really, it wasn't all that bad of day for me. Happy
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Faldongron
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's not be blind to what I think is really going on here and that is that WotC knows no bounds when it comes to trying to bastardize and change D&D into a concept that THEY own. They screw with story telling aspects of D&D in 4E by taking out any real spells that do something other then crush your foe under you heel. That is narrow minded as the most potent tools for taking care of your enemy is subversion and deciet, a concept foriegn to the developers now making the D&D product. This is all an attempt to make obsolete all previous content so you have to go out and get new source books, as the old ones no longer carry any grain of authority. And more over they are trying to distance themselves and more importantly us from the old and bring us into the "next gen" of gaming. I, myself, am not going without a fight.


I have spent a good deal of time flushing out the relationships of the outer planes and how they interact with Oerth and honestly made some very solid concecpts and plausible story lines. The original idea of Demons and Devils, according to my extensive research, is very well done if you just use what is available to gel things together. The Primordials Lords created the Tanar'ri, better known as Demons, so they had tools to do their work in the universe as they continued to do their work, but they were flawed, as they did not follow plans and they were prone to discension and in fighting as chaotic evil beings. The Primordials again being preoccupied with their work created angels. The angels were frighteningly affective at killing the demons and in order to become more efficient even still they took on some of the demons characteristics to better combat them. The Primordials did not like the fact that some of the angels willingly took on demonic power and the ones that did were tainted with evil. Asmodeus the most powerful of the angels becoming more and more like demons, claimed that he and his minions did what was expected of them according to the letter of the law. The Primordials gave them Baator begrudgling as it was promised that the angels would gain a land of their own for their service. So the Primordials cast Asmodeus and his minions into Baator, both as their pact demanded and as punishment for tainting their blood line with evil, making him and his minions fallen angels known as Baatezu. Not too much confusion in here and the bulk of this is from Wikipedia and my studies from various other previous readings. It seems to me to be an adequately developed background for said beings and I see no need to modify it from this cosmology. It is, as I said before, WotC trying to nudge out old school principles in order to make their game version more visiable and viable. They are threatened by old tenants as they can not operate on the depth as did many of the earlier developers and mass produce product to pawn off on "next gen gamers". I am not completely sure that "next gen" gamers are interested in story telling. Maybe we are old dinosaurs and the consumer these days just want a glorified Risk/WoW hybrid. They are using "talent" trees, Locks, etc etc. I am an avid D&D gamer and I am almost as loyal to the namesake D&D as I am to Greyhawk but I am quickly discovering that the two are no longer synonomous. I really did want to give 4E a chance but I may be forced to go back to earlier versions where the story is more important then the fight.
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