Fiendish Lords?





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  1. #1
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

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    Fiendish Lords?

    Fiendish Lords: Have you ever used them in a game? If so, how? If not, why not?

    Personally, I haven't. My games have almost exclusively remained low level (it has been over a decade since I've done anything above 5th level). So... I never felt the need to include one.

    But I'm sure someone has. If so, who? Why?
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    ° Ignore the Jester
    Oh, yes.

    Back in the 1e days, a pc slew Belial and became a Duke of Hell. He became an npc and later a major figure- his grandchildren were two more pcs, though they didn't know the connection until later on in their careers.

    In my 3.5 epic game, the pcs had to confront and slay Asmodeus and deal with Lucifer, his predecessor and replacement.

    I've used elements of Dead Gods where the pcs were trying to prevent the return of Orcus.

    Another time, back in the day (hmm, 2e iirc), the party had a brief glimpse of Orcus in his throne room- just long enough to huck an enemy at him through the portal and then dispel it so that the party's enemy was stuck dealing with a pissed off Prince of Undeath.

    Many, many times over the years...
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    My personal campaign world is rife with demonic and diabolic machinations, but the party almost always deals with minions and "sub-bosses". The Big Bads never materialize on the material plane itself, but occasionally make an appearance when the heroes get powerful enough to take the fight to the Lower Planes.

    I never used the fiendish lords in 1e... other than Lolth's appearance at the end of the classic GDQ series, Orcus in the abominable H1-4 "Bloodstone" series, and Zuggtmoy in T1-4. In each case, they were little more than "final bosses" to be slain (...what can I say? I was young...).

    In 2e, I had a Planescape party participate (unwillingly) in a grand hunt by Mammon, Lord of the Third. However, I didn't need stats for him. If an archdevil catches up with a group of 9th level characters, they die. End of story. Similarly, the party also encountered Dispater (as part of the Fires of Dis module), Gra'zt (For Duty and Deity module), Pazuzu (...tried to trick the party into saying his name three times and summoning him in material form to the Prime Plane) and a couple of others. None of these were combat encounters.

    I've used Orcus again in 3e, this time in a module of my own design. Demogorgon, Yeenoghu and Graz'zt also made appearances, but the PCs never fought them. The party was Epic level (about 24th level on average), and it was the culmination of a massive Abyssal double-cross.

    I haven't used any of the archfiends in 4e yet, simply because none of our parties have yet reached Epic level. However, I have every intention of doing so at some stage.

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    ° Ignore Oryan77
    I've also used Dispater when I ran the Fires of Dis adventure. Bel also made a cameo appearance in it (great adventure I thought).

    I just made an appearance with Orcus in our last game using the Dead Gods adventure.

    No combat with any of these though.
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    In a word: yes

    My first 3.x Planescape campaign featured a whole host of archfiends as primary and supporting antagonists from the start of the campaign (around level 10 or so) through the end (around level 25 or so). Their role and method of interaction with and against the PCs changed over time as the campaign metaplot developed and the PCs gradually developed into being capable of not being squashed like bugs when the interaction became more and more direct.

    -Lots- of unique yugoloths, Pale Night in the Abyss, and briefly some interactions with diabolic nobility.

    My last campaign had less of the 'loths (though they were there in the background at times), but more use of unique devils (Bel, Zariel, Moloch, and proxies of Levistus and Asmodeus) and some Abyssal Lords (Pale Night again, and at least two of her children). The primary antagonist for the campaign however was Gith (the original person, not the race named after her).

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    ° Ignore Thanael
    I feel the need to point you to Sepulchrave's awesome Story Hour. He used Graz'zt and others to the fullest, gave us a memorable very Vancian wizard community, deeply thought out religion and philosophy and an overall epic campaign and story.

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    ° Ignore Planetourist
    I've used an aspect of Jubilex once - the party found it, imprisoned, in a crazed demonologist's house in Sundabar. The whole city was besieged by orcs and the summoner was killed by them, so the Jelly Lord was left on his own. Players managed somehow (how exactly? Don't remember) to send it to fight orcs - a crime for which there would have been painfully punished if the campaign hadn't ended a session later.

    Besides, A'kin the Friendly Fiend appears in nearly all my Planescape sessions - and who can say that he isn't an archfiend by any chance? Maybe you, splendid Shemeska, would cast some light on this mistery?

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    ° Ignore Barastrondo
    Do influences and cultists count? I'm a sucker for one-shots like "Temple of the Horned Ape" and Edgar Allan Poe-inspired noble houses fallen to rot and infernalism, invoking a terrible King In Yellow sort of experience, but I have yet to actually plop an archfiend on the battlemat.
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    ° Ignore LurkMonkey
    I have never used any archfiends in battle (yet), but they do play a lot of roles in the 'deep story' of my current game.

    One of my PCs (modeled as a female version of Hellboy) just found out that she is the lost daughter of Jezebel, Princess of Poison Winters (props to James Jacob's excellent writeup in Kobold Quarterly) who is the only (legitimate) daughter of Bel/Ba'al, ruler of Avernus and Hell's Supreme Generalissimo of the Blood War. Jezebel runs much of the day-to-day concerns of her father's realm while he is out battling Demons in the Grey Waste. My PC, being a smart player, is now terrified. Especially since no one but her and one erinyes she has been sparring with are privy to the information.

    If my games ever get into the epic range I have a whole storyline set up that will probably involve them in a lot of the machinations of the three major Lower Plane races. Contesting with major archfiends shouldn't be an easy task, even for the epic. I will probably cut their teeth on some proxies and aspects first, to give them a taste of pain
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    ° Ignore Planetourist
    I've forgotten about one more story. Once upon a time I ran a low-level 3.5 campaign (PCs were on 2nd level) in which the team found a book dedicated to Pazuzu that let them contact the demon lord. The winged prince saw a potential in them (stealing this book wasn't easy) and put them to the test - they had to find mysteriously described servants of Good and make them break their vows. This campaign didn't ran for long, but making an innocent healer break her Vow of Peace (each of the 'targets' had one of Vow feats from BoeD) was a memorable moment and a great show of one player's acting skill.

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