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    Cozbi, the Terror Princess of Hell
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 22, 2019
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    Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:59 am  
    Cozbi, the Terror Princess of Hell

    It was difficult to figure out what to do with Cozbi. I considered her a little uninspiring until I approached her mechanics from a role-playing perspective. Some of her unusual spell-like abilities are charm monster (most unique devils have charm person and suggestion, but charm monster is rarer and it works on devils), ice storm once a round, a weak lightning bolt 4 times per day, and a finger of death once per day. Her effective caster level (derived from dividing her hit points by 4.5, as per Ed Greenwood in Dragon 91) puts her at 15 (technically 14.88, but let's round up to help her out) to allow her to reduce magic resistance by 20% using the 1st edition caster level 11 as base. So, she's actually very effect at dishing out significant, but probably not lethal, damage to lesser devils (devils take half cold damage, but full from electricity).

    Cozbi uses her powers to rule the lesser devils by fear and make them do as she wishes. Geryon is a physically strong, but spends most of his time on his hunts. That leaves Cozbi to oversee Stygia's court, and she lacks the power or talent that Bensonzia has. As such, she is forced to rely on her minions to either gather appropriate items so that she may purchase the favor of some members of the court or creatures that she can charm to offer in trade or to intimidate others to do her bidding. Styx devils (amnizu in later editions) are the most common devils on Stygia (per Monster Manual 2), but they are among the least of the greater devils and can be terrorized by Cozbi.

    In campaign use, Cozbi's minions are the most likely to be encountered at low levels, an introduction for the PCs to the minions of the Nine Hells.

    Later editions were not kind to Geryon or Cozbi. She is critically injured and in an apparatus that keeps her alive in A Paladin in Hell, while he is dethroned for being loyal to Asmodeus (this has never made any sense to me). Later products simply indicated that she had died.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3811
    From: So. Cal

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    Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:20 am  

    I mostly loathe that immortal spirit beings of PURE EVIL are reduced to high HD monsters native to another plane, such that they could be so badly injured to even need to be entombed in an iron lung to "live." Just seems kind of ludicrous to me.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:31 am  

    You will get no argument here. I feel that designers have two ways to build up their new additions/design to a game: they either show why their creation is good or they tear down existing creations to show that theirs is better.

    In the context of the Nine Hells, the story about how Asmodeus pulled the wool over the eyes of the Upper planes by chiding them about not reading the fine print is a good way to show that he was more cunning than they. That builds him up. In contrast, the Reckoning of Hell made the rest of the archdevils look dumb in comparison to the many-layered Xanathos gambits that Asmodeus and the Dark Eight were involved in. It tore the archdevils down to elevate them.

    I prefer the former method rather than the latter; it just seems a bit disrespectful and tacky to me (though I will give a pass to a designer tearing down their own previous work to make their new work look better, since it is their stuff they are affecting). I feel that Planescape really took the latter approach.
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