Soldiers of the Blood War

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    Soldiers of the Blood War

    James summons demon and devil hordes so that he can explore them both in this week??s Wandering Monsters. You have your marching orders in all this, too: Read, process, and provide feedback to let us know what you think!

    Read Soldiers of the Blood War on D&D Insider here!


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    I'm fine with the stripped down abilities but I can't say I like the lore in general, which make the first question difficult to answer.

    I think devils and demons should have truly different goals and attitudes or be merged already (the chaotic demons just being rebel factions working outside of Hell's hierarchy, but not truly different in nature).
    Since the latter won't happen I think the 4e approach was good enough: make devils tempters and demons destroyers (and the succubus a devil!)

    Demons in particular should be more chaotic and unorganized than this article lets on and not as focused on the Blood War (which already bugged me in 2e). I don't think any demon kind should have hard rules like serving only one lord. Demon variety would be better shown by having random behaviours and variant abilities.
    .Ceterum censeo,'fire and forget' powers are an unholy blight upon D&Ddom

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    I'm a bit worried by the mention of summoning without any discussion so far on how those sorts of spells might work mechanically.

    I also see that even demons might get expertise dice now (Marilith)!

    Lore-wise, how you deal with demons/devils/whatever has always felt very campaign or setting-specific to me, since it's so wrapped up in cosmology.
    Everyone is weird, but those who are weird in the same way call themselves normal.

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    I always found the blood war a bit to cartoony (law versus chaos oooh) but then again you do want something too detailed and faloursome that it overwhelms different cosmologies. I quite like the idea that demons are mostly brutish and monsterous and devils more reasonable and charming but still martial.

  • #5
    Yes, I am pleased at the mention of yugoloths (and the Blood War), and would have liked him to elaborate just a tad, they didn't get the same treatment as the demon and devil.

    And agree succubus should be a demon, especially considering Malcanthet has her own abyssal layer.

    I like the use of spells, and glabrezu effectively having wizard levels.

    Next, Modrons!

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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

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    I prefer a small set of abilities, succubi as devils, and the dychotomy of devils = temptation/demons = destruction.
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    Dude needs to tread lightly. Entries are all filled with categorical statements with creatures that have had a lot of varied abilities -- almost anything you can say about these beasts is going to mess with someone's version of them.

    How about an approach to demons and devils that says, rather than "THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE," "This is what we mortals know of them."

    This gives us modularity. Rather than saying "SUCCUBI ARE DEMONS!", we can say, "We know succubi are fiends that tempt people," and leave it up to individual DMs where these guys hail from. Extraplanar critters should be mysterious and weird -- if the only succubi that really exist in the worlds are things lonely wizards have summoned into the world, I'm not sure we'd know its taxonomy.

    Overall, I'm fond of the idea of stripped-down abilities, and they seem to get the basic idea of each critter right (though I'd like a bit more of the 4e entropy/corruption dichotomy, but again, it can't be categorical -- succubi might be demons who corrupt and tempt and that doesn't mean they aren't Chaotic Evil engines of entropy, it just means their method of entropy isn't RARGH KILL SMASH).

    Mostly I want the ability to use these things as I see fit in my own games, and going around saying things like "geherelths aren't the philosophical embodiment of evil!" is knocking down my sandcastles. On these guys, less is more -- be vague. Rely mostly on stats. They're all FIENDS, let individual DMs decide if they're whatever.
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  • #8
    I like the 4e approach to demon and devil lore. The approach presented by Wyatt seemed straight-down-the-line Planescape.

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    I like devils with spells, but as long as there's a simple way to add them on top of a spell-less base form, I'll be ok.
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    Well, just because they say the fluff is one way, you do not need to follow it. But they do need to say that in the core rules, succubi are one or the other. Your campaign can move them around. You can also ignore the bloodwar if you want. I like limited abilities, but I still want creatures at this level to have several options each combat round, so it is not 10 rounds of the same thing over and over.

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