Changes to Devils and Demons

mhensley

Visitor
From Rich Baker's blog-

- Devils are angels who rebelled. They rose up against the deity they served and murdered him. The crime of deicide is unimaginably perverse for angels, and hence devils were cursed and imprisoned in the Nine Hells.
- The Nine Hells are what became of the murdered deity's divine realm after his death. The Hells are the devils' prison, and it is difficult for them to get out without mortal aid.
- We've re-sorted demons and devils a bit, since we want these two categories of monsters to make a little more sense. Devils tend to be more humanoid in form, usually fight with weapons, and often wear armor. Most have horns, wings, and tails. One consequence of this: the erinyes and the succubus were holding down pretty similar territory, so we've decided that they're the same monster, called the succubus, and it's a devil.
- Ice devils don't look like other devils. We've decided that they are actually a demonic/yugoloth race... one that was entrapped by Mephistopheles long ago in an infernal contract. So ice devils hate other devils, retain their insect-like appearance, and have a special loyalty to Mephistopheles. It's one of the reasons why Asmodeus has never chosen to move against Mephistopheles. Asmodeus would of course win if he did, but that would let the ice devils out of their contract.
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906386

I don't think I like the sound of this. It's cutting a bit too close to real religions for me.
 

Miar

Visitor
That was my reaction as well. I didn't like them as they were. The whole subset of beings who are after your soul just never worked for me. Anyone want to explain why they like demons and devils so much?
 

Ace32

Visitor
Does this mean that demons and devils are no longer bound to a specific alignment? After all, to say that all lawful evil planars are humanoids while all the chaotic ones cannot be is rather rigid.

Likewise, the poor succubus shouldn't lose chaotic evil status just to fit into this new archetyping game.
 

grimslade

Explorer
How many RW religions have a dead or murdered deity? Is it the angels rebelling thing? So did the greek gods against the titans. Lots of mythic parallels to draw on.
I like the changes of combining the succubus and the eryines and giving a greater difference between demons and devils. I don't like the ad hoc Ice Devils are really demons but we fudged it, so they're devils.
 

jimpaladin

Visitor
I agree, we'll have to wait and see if they put that fluff in or not. WotC needs(and i think they are) to be very careful with how they handle the "gods" of the new setting. They mention using perhaps some real world mythos to bring about a different feel. Most real world mythos don't have "devils" tho' they do have evil or more accurately anti-human dieties that strive for their own goals.

Anyway, not going to get preachy :p
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
I'm cool with the whole " re-sort " thing, but I mean, come on! It's almost as if they WANT religious groups to lay the freakin' smackdown on them with an origin story like that.
 

Krellic

Community Supporter
A few weeks ago I got myself a copy of Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells and I thought that the bit they did explaining where the devils originated and how they fitted into the Blood War quite well done. This new explanation just throws that out which is a real shame.

I think one of the dangers of redesign, reimagining or whatever you call it is that sometimes things get redesigned apparently purely for the sake of someone new getting to put their particular spin on things.

No problem with erinyes and succubi being rolled into a single critter, I suspect the erinyes name is too cool to remain in limbo for long and the ice devil wrinkle seems quite cool - no pun intended - as well.
:)
 

Aloïsius

Visitor
So we can guess tiefling have a devilish ancestry, rather than a demoniac one.

I always thought the two category (demons and devils) did not make sense at all, because it was mostly impossible to guess if a particular creature was one or the other. So, I think this is a move in the good direction.

However, I felt a disturbance in the force, as if millions of Planescape's fan suddenly cried in horror...

Btw, erinyes are somewhat more interesting than succubus, IMHO. I guess the sword wielding furry born of the blood of a god is more interesting than the average whore-demon. And the name is cooler, too.
 
Last edited:

mhensley

Visitor
delericho said:
I'm not keen on it either, but for a different reason. It feels like change for the sake of change.
Yep, I don't see how it has anything to do with making the game better.
 

Reaper Steve

Explorer
I like it...esp drawing the lines between demons and devils. The Ice Devil thing initally strikes me wierd (I don't mind change, so why leave this one), but I can buy the rationale. It actually sets up an interesting dynamic. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

Also confirms yugoloths.
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
Don't Know If Want....

Hmm... my immediate reaction is that this screws with the timeline of the origin of Baator, and we've now had a variation of the origin of that plane for pretty much every book that has come out since the late 90's. The Abyss has had more stability than the plane of manifest LE, which is unfortunate.

The twisted little origin for gelugons might be a really nifty idea, but we'll see how the fluff handles this. I can be won over on this one. 'loth origin gelugons, bound by contract and chaffing against it. This could really be developed into some cool stuff. EDIT: 10 minutes later, I'm digging this one.

Merging succubi and erinyes is a mistake. A really bad mistake. I can't immediately see how to reconcile this with the material already out there, and even produced in the past year. Hmm. Jacobs did some really awesome material with Malcanthet and her rivals, and this change really makes moving them forward into 4th difficult, unless we want to have succubi/erinyes populating both Baator and the Abyss, having split in an ancient ideological schism (or the CE ones having been perverted by X Abyssal lord, obyrith, etc). The in-game rationalization here needs to be amazing or else this change may really, really present difficulties.
 
Last edited:

mhensley

Visitor
Kaodi said:
I'm cool with the whole " re-sort " thing, but I mean, come on! It's almost as if they WANT religious groups to lay the freakin' smackdown on them with an origin story like that.

Maybe George Lucas is writing for them now. Clerics are chosen based on their midichlorian count and paladins are given birth from virgin mothers.
 
So I guess I'm the one who likes this.

Of course, I like monotheism in my D&D too, so I suppose my taste for the mythical/divine in my games is different from most.
 

Shadeydm

Visitor
I don't even like Planescape, but I have to admit I don't really care for some of these changes either, but it still to early to judge. Right now we are looking at a tidbit who knows what the actual write up in the 4E MM will say.
 

Jer

Adventurer
delericho said:
I'm not keen on it either, but for a different reason. It feels like change for the sake of change.

Meh. The first two and fourth bullet point are all fluff - more of that "implied setting" stuff that we've been hearing about. Though the fourth bullet point at least strongly implies that yugoloths will still be around, which warms my heart at least.

The third bullet point is actually the most interesting one to me. I've been wondering what the devil/demon distinction would be if they are downplaying alignment as a game mechanic in this edition. I'm not yet sure what I think about it - I don't mind devils looking mostly humanoid, but there's no reason that you can't have humanoid looking demons as well - you don't want to ignore Grazzt's status as a demon lord, for example. OTOH - collapsing succubi and eriynes into a single devil type bothers me not in the slightest, since I've always thought that succubi should have been devils in the first place and that eriynes were just added to the devil side to make up for that initial mistake.

Miar said:
That was my reaction as well. I didn't like them as they were. The whole subset of beings who are after your soul just never worked for me. Anyone want to explain why they like demons and devils so much?
I like 'em because they're the ultimate evil - a great set of villains to capstone a campaign with. I don't like having races who are "evil by birth" in my games (smacks of too much racism to me), but a group of beings who are supposed to be the true "incarnations of evil"? That's a set of villains I can sink my teeth into.

Also, given the age that many of the designers are, I suspect there's a bit of "compensation" going on for second editions cow-towing to the forces who screamed about D&D being "demonic" back in the day.

Also, James "fomer Methodist minister" Wyatt is on the team, so there may be some knowledge about devils and demons he's adding from his own studies...
 

Reaper Steve

Explorer
Oh yeah...and the whole 'too close to RW thing'...nah. Devils need a credible reason to be heinously nasty...and I think killing their deity fits the bill. Bible thumpers will thump over the demons/devils regardless, so if they're in the game (and the should be!) then let them be the nasty things they should be! And remember...they are there so the players can overcome the evil...which is a good thing.
 
delericho said:
I'm not keen on it either, but for a different reason. It feels like change for the sake of change.
It's change for the sake of clarity. The division between demons and devils was pretty obscure, previously. Explaining to a new player "well, they hate each other, because of the ancient war between chaos and order" means a) explaining what the heck THAT means and b) why they should care or why it's cool.

There can still be a Blood War, but here on the Prime Material, now the two types of monsters are more distinct and hopefully encountering one won't be interchangeable with an encounter with the other kind. (And, YES, in Planescape games or in games where planar politics are important, they could already feel differently. But when Fiend X showed up in a dungeon, he was pretty much interchangeable with Fiend Y.)

And I'm gratified the Succubus/Erinyes overlap is gone. I'm sure the Erinyes will return in modified form eventually. And all this can be grist for Planescape metastory.
 

Advertisement

Top