D&D 5E Hezrou demon redesign

dave2008

Legend
Ah, just found out that in 5e they're playing with artistically re-skinning various demons to match the demon lord they serve. This is from the Descent into Avernus Dice and Miscellany set – the balor, barlgura, hezrou, and quasit serving Yeenoghu are given gnollish forms.

fZFrRUl.jpg


This is a nice mid-way ground between infinitely customizable tables & hard-codified hierarchical types.

The hezrou here abandons the toad demon appearance, but maintains the hunched over position & spines down its back. And it's easy to imagine it fulfilling the functions of its stats – claw/claw/bite and stench.

I'm interested in what you think this implies from a world-building perspective. The 5e MM says: "The Abyss creates demons as extensions of itself, spontaneously forming fiends out of filth and carnage." As well as:
"By expending considerable magical power, demon lords can raise lesser demons into greater forms, though such promotions never stem from a demon's deeds or accomplishments. Rather, a demon lord might warp a manes into a quasit when it needs an invisible spy, or turn an army of dretches into hezrous when marching against a rival lord. Demon lords only rarely elevate demons to the highest ranks, fearful of inadvertently creating rivals to their own power."

Are all demons in service to a demon lord warped to a form suiting their master? This doubles back into what @dave2008 you were asking, which was essentially "At what point is a hezrou no longer a hezrou?"
I like this idea, but I also like the idea of random tables. So now that I've slept on it, ideally I would have:
  1. "Standard" demons as described in their stat blocks
  2. A large table of modifications to represent variation from the standard
    1. Or possibly a table of modifications by demon type?
  3. Numerous smaller tables of modifications to represent warping by a particular demon lord.
Option one would be for ease, but most demons should have option 2 or 3 or both applied.
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
@dave2008 We have #1 in the MM and we have examples of #3 in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes with Demonic Boons by demon lord, a few optional extra powers for select demon types (balor, goristro, marilith, nalfeshness), demonic cambions, and Demon Customization Tables (specifically d20 Unusual Demon Features). What would be an example of #2?
 

Quickleaf

Legend
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Looking at these 6 artistically, you can hardly blame anyone for confusing them. Before I started this topic I would have confused a few. And this isn't even including the grung or grippli!

The hezrou is the oldest of the bunch, however unlike all the others from this selection, it lacks any defining froggy features justifying a froggish appearance.

1. Hydroloth/Hydrodaemon: This yugoloth has the most striking artistic similarity to #3 (Hezrou), yet it has key froggy features that #3 lacks: it's Amphibious (inhabiting the River Styx) and has Watery Advantage. It dates back to 1e's Monster Manual II.

2. Banderhobb: Introduced in 4e's Monster Manual III, this monster from the Shadowfell is a faerie tale boogeyman which leans on these froggy feature: it's stealthy with Shadow Stealth, it has a big mouth to swallow you with, and a tongue to reel you in.

3. Hezrou: This demon traces back to the OD&D's Eldritch Wizardry as a Type II demon, but unlike every other monster in this selection it lacks any defining froggy traits in either its stat block or the rest of its monster entry.

4. Froghemoth: Introduced in Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, this alien monster has multiple froggy traits, including: it's Amphibious, it has rubbery skin manifested as lightning resistance and Shock Susceptibility, it has a big mouth to swallow you with, and a tongue to reel you in. With a distinctive triple-eye stalk and tentacles, it earns its name.

5. (Green) Slaad: First appearing in the 1e Fiend Folio, these extraplanar monsters from Limbo have one froggy trait: they undergo a birthing process which involves evolution from a (horrific) tadpole to an adult. They're more like xenomorphs than frogs, and their stats otherwise don't evoke frogishness (e.g. they could just as easily be drawn as green, red, or blue wolverines and their stats would the same), but at least they have the tadpole biological process as explanation for their froggish appearance.

6. Bullywug: The only monster native to the Material Plane among this selection, bullywugs were introduced in the 1e Fiend Folio. They possess the following froggy traits: they are Amphibious, they Speak with Frogs and Toads, they are stealthy with Swamp Camouflage, and they can perform a Standing Leap. Known for riding giant frogs/toads, they earn their place among the most "froggy" of the frog monsters.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
I also want to say @Quickleaf that I'm kind of liking the plague and miasma idea you had going with the redesign, as well as a potential grapple to keep things in the miasma.

The Familiar stuff was incredibly interesting, but I have a but. Most Wizards would create their familiars via Find Familiar, Now, per RAW of the spell, familiars don't have any special stats, and while they are Fey, Fiend or Celestial, why would someone choose a Fiendish familiar? At the table it is for aesthetic reasons, but in-universe, we would need a reason to pick them, especially if fiendish familiars have a habit of destroying their creators.

It is still awesome lore, just looking one step further to think about actually getting it to slot into the game. This thread has at least made me think of redesigning demons more around natural disasters and affecting the area. Summon them to cause plagues, storms, ect.

To answer your familiar question, the type (celestial, fey, or fiend) is not a question of stats/mechanics but of story/narrative. In particular, when a master gives a familiar a command, unless the command is exhaustively specific there is bound to be latitude in how the familiar carries out that command. I interpret its type (celestial, fey, or fiend) to dictate how it interprets that latitude.

A Celestial familiar is going to use that latitude to act towards the greatest good, even if that means frustrating its master's selfish tendencies or taking longer than expected. However, it will never go so far as to use that latitude to cause harm to its master. In the long run, it's looking to uplift its master's spirit even if that means putting him or her through some tough spots.

A Fey familiar is going to use that latitude to be tricksy, make mischief, and create complications, usually for its master's enemies, but sometimes for its master him or herself. Its long run goals may be a mystery or involve amoral objectives specific to the campaign.

A Fiendish familiar is going to use that latitude to seek out the "lightning path" (i.e. fastest and dirtiest) to power for its master and itself, even if that means creatively interpreting what's best for its master. In the long run, sure it's looking to to claim its master's soul, but it's going to offer the best cookies along the way and make sure the track is greased for its master's rise to power.
 

dave2008

Legend
@dave2008 We have #1 in the MM and we have examples of #3 in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes with Demonic Boons by demon lord, a few optional extra powers for select demon types (balor, goristro, marilith, nalfeshness), demonic cambions, and Demon Customization Tables (specifically d20 Unusual Demon Features). What would be an example of #2?
I think the demon customization tables are a general #2. The demonic boons are a type of #3, but I was thinking more along the lines of the demon customization table, but for each demon lord. That being said, with the MM & MToF you have a good start to providing customized demons in the manner I was suggesting.

I guess I need to review MToF more. To be honest I was a bit ticked they didn't take the opportunity to improve the demon lord designs. The designs of the archdevils in MToF and Bel in Descent are definitely superior to the demon lords.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
To answer your familiar question, the type (celestial, fey, or fiend) is not a question of stats/mechanics but of story/narrative. In particular, when a master gives a familiar a command, unless the command is exhaustively specific there is bound to be latitude in how the familiar carries out that command. I interpret its type (celestial, fey, or fiend) to dictate how it interprets that latitude.

A Celestial familiar is going to use that latitude to act towards the greatest good, even if that means frustrating its master's selfish tendencies or taking longer than expected. However, it will never go so far as to use that latitude to cause harm to its master. In the long run, it's looking to uplift its master's spirit even if that means putting him or her through some tough spots.

A Fey familiar is going to use that latitude to be tricksy, make mischief, and create complications, usually for its master's enemies, but sometimes for its master him or herself. Its long run goals may be a mystery or involve amoral objectives specific to the campaign.

A Fiendish familiar is going to use that latitude to seek out the "lightning path" (i.e. fastest and dirtiest) to power for its master and itself, even if that means creatively interpreting what's best for its master. In the long run, sure it's looking to to claim its master's soul, but it's going to offer the best cookies along the way and make sure the track is greased for its master's rise to power.

I think I get what you are saying, it is a matter of the familiar's personality and how they will act in regards to their Master's orders.

However, with the mechanics of the familiar spell as is, and people able to choose their familiar's shape every time... why pick the Fiend? It will choose the "fastest" way to interpret your orders, but it will cost you your soul if you stick with it until you die. And the familiar can't offer the master anything they do not already have.

Familiar's offer no additional knowledge or power, just scouting capabilities and the ability to remotely cast some spells. I acknowledge that in the world they might be able to do more, but this isn't backed by what we see in the game, which leads to the questions. If the celestial familiar will never cause you harm, and offers every single benefit of the fiendish familiar who might cause you harm and will try and take your soul.... why do you pick the fiends? The familiar's "increased speed" on their tasks just is not worth it, especially since wizard's are scienc-y types who would know that rushing their work is dangerous.

Again, I like the idea of the "corrupted familiar" being the origin of the demon. I want to use it, I'm just trying to figure out how to square the circles we have to make it less hand-wavy.
 

dave2008

Legend
Again, I like the idea of the "corrupted familiar" being the origin of the demon. I want to use it, I'm just trying to figure out how to square the circles we have to make it less hand-wavy.
I think you need some homebrew mechanics to go with that homebrew lore to make it work.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
@Chaosmancer Oh gosh, several ways you could go narratively. Why would a wizard select a fiendish familiar whose ultimate aim is to drag his soul to the Abyss?
  • Maybe the wizard doesn't know/isn't aware of his familiar's true purpose.
  • Maybe the wizard doesn't care about his soul, and is only concerned with here and now.
  • Maybe the wizard views it as an acceptable price, a la "better to rule in hell than serve in heaven", or a necessary price given the challenges he faces, a la Constantine.
  • Maybe the wizard thinks he's more clever than the measly familiar and will outsmart it, gaining all the benefit with none of the cost.
  • Maybe the wizard believes it's a case of "better my devil, than it serving someone else who's truly wicked."
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think you need some homebrew mechanics to go with that homebrew lore to make it work.

Quite likely.


@Chaosmancer Oh gosh, several ways you could go narratively. Why would a wizard select a fiendish familiar whose ultimate aim is to drag his soul to the Abyss?
  • Maybe the wizard doesn't know/isn't aware of his familiar's true purpose.
  • Maybe the wizard doesn't care about his soul, and is only concerned with here and now.
  • Maybe the wizard views it as an acceptable price, a la "better to rule in hell than serve in heaven", or a necessary price given the challenges he faces, a la Constantine.
  • Maybe the wizard thinks he's more clever than the measly familiar and will outsmart it, gaining all the benefit with none of the cost.
  • Maybe the wizard believes it's a case of "better my devil, than it serving someone else who's truly wicked."

A lot of these kind of paint the wizard as... stupid.

A) Not aware of how magic works or how dangerous fiends are? I know fiends technically fall under the purview of religion instead of arcana, but not knowing that in summoning a fiend you are risking dangerous forces seems more ignorant than I would expect. Especially since Find Familiar is a 1st level spell, this is basic magic we are talking about , so I would expect wizards to learn the nuances of it rather quickly.

B) Two issues. One is that "I want a familiar who is sloppy and dangerous, but will act quickly" is again just poor decision making. Two, even if they do, they can dismiss the familiar and summon a celestial familiar later. Which raises all sorts of questions about how much sway the demon familiar will have over their soul, and also makes one wonder why a wizard would keep it around after an accident or two.

2B) I want to side bar here to point out, that familiar stats are generally thought to come from the animals you summon. Meaning all of them have sub-human scores. The Frog would have an intelligence of 1 and a Charisma of 3, leading to hefty penalties on things like tricking their master or convincing their master to take a certain course of action.

3) Sure, works for some wizards. Except, the benefit they are potentially losing their soul for is "works faster but is sloppy." You'd have to be stupid to take what is overall a neutral aspect and add to it the potential for the servant to betray you and drag you to everlasting torment. I mean, imagine you are working in the food industry. Do you keep the employee who is potentially stealing from the register because he works fast, even though that means he sometimes messes up orders or breaks plates, costing you even more money. OR do you take the employee who works a little slower, is completely trustworthy, and always does a good job? This isn't a choice. You always want the second employ. They cost you less and are a better employee.

4) This can work, especially since as mentioned, most familiars are stupid and uncharismatic. I could see incredibly prideful wizards taking on fiendish familiars just to prove that they can handle it and that even with a poor familiar than can do better than their fellows.

5) This makes no sense. Better to summon a devil to serve than to summon a celestial who will work with me, because then I won't be serving a really evil master? That makes zero sense unless the wizard is just resigned to having their soul taken to the Abyss no matter what they do in their life. Which, could be a fun plot for a single character, one who is marked for the Abyss and figures raising their eventual master rather than risking a roll of the dice is worth it, but that is a hyper-specific story.

And again, I think the pattern emerging here is "sloppy but faster work" when the familiar does so little is a bad exchange. You aren't really gaining anything except your orders being accomplished moderately faster, so you might be saving a handful of seconds at the risk of your soul? That makes no sense.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
@Chaosmancer Well, I'd prefer the conversation not to get off track from what I started this thread to discuss. I'm going to request that you if want to discuss the merits of familiar types, that you please start your own thread and pick it up there.

EDIT: Sorry, I had to help my girlfriend unload some things and my posting was interrupted. I think your basic question has merit: "Why would a spellcaster take on a fiendish familiar, knowing it was evil?"

However, I think that question applies universally across D&D and is not particularly more relevant to the discussion of the hezrou-as-black-magic-familiar than it is to many other parts of D&D. It's a question I think mandates a wider audience and more inquiry than I can accommodate.

By comparison, it would be like having a conversation about redesigning the rust monster, and then getting sidetracked in a debate about which weapons/armor components would be made of metal. Sure, it's tangentially relevant. However, the debate about metal weapons/armor applies to far more situations than just rust monsters – heat metal, whether it can be used to block certain divination spells like detect evil and good, magnetism & lodestones, druid prohibitions, certain oozes which either do or do not corrode metals, world-building and technology levels, etc.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
@Chaosmancer Well, I'd prefer the conversation not to get off track from what I started this thread to discuss. I'm going to request that you if want to discuss the merits of familiar types, that you please start your own thread and pick it up there.

EDIT: Sorry, I had to help my girlfriend unload some things and my posting was interrupted. I think your basic question has merit: "Why would a spellcaster take on a fiendish familiar, knowing it was evil?"

However, I think that question applies universally across D&D and is not particularly more relevant to the discussion of the hezrou-as-black-magic-familiar than it is to many other parts of D&D. It's a question I think mandates a wider audience and more inquiry than I can accommodate.

By comparison, it would be like having a conversation about redesigning the rust monster, and then getting sidetracked in a debate about which weapons/armor components would be made of metal. Sure, it's tangentially relevant. However, the debate about metal weapons/armor applies to far more situations than just rust monsters – heat metal, whether it can be used to block certain divination spells like detect evil and good, magnetism & lodestones, druid prohibitions, certain oozes which either do or do not corrode metals, world-building and technology levels, etc.


A good point, I'm pretty bad about getting focused on an aspect or detail of a discussion and following that far off the beaten path.
 

Well, Hezrou and demons are part of the D&D scene since the beginning (almost) of the RPG.
In 1ed All demons could cast darkness, teleport w/o error and possessed Infravision and some kind of gating ability. The Hezrou could also cast Cause Fear, Levitate, Telekinesis and Detect Invisible. Originally, they did not possess the stench ability, this came in the second edition.

5ed is a blend between the 4ed and 5ed with a bit of previous editions mixed in. The idea was to remake a 1ed with a modern approach. So in a sense, they hit the target right on, most of the times.

I do like the idea of the Miasma you introduced. The role of the Hezrou, however, was not originally as a sergent but as a front line soldier reveling in carnage and blood shed. This sergeant thing, again, was introduced in later edition (2ed if I remember correctly). The abyss has no need of a sergeant, the abyss wants bloodshed, carnage and destruction. So your Miasma in my eyes, is the only thing that should be added/modified to give the Hezrou some more punch.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Well, Hezrou and demons are part of the D&D scene since the beginning (almost) of the RPG.
In 1ed All demons could cast darkness, teleport w/o error and possessed Infravision and some kind of gating ability. The Hezrou could also cast Cause Fear, Levitate, Telekinesis and Detect Invisible. Originally, they did not possess the stench ability, this came in the second edition.

5ed is a blend between the 4ed and 5ed with a bit of previous editions mixed in. The idea was to remake a 1ed with a modern approach. So in a sense, they hit the target right on, most of the times.

I think looking back to the original version of a D&D monster and using that original design as the only guiding light for how to make the best & truest version of that monster is misguided.

As I pointed out in my OP, the 1e traits you describe are not driving factors of unique monster design, rather they were endemic to many demons:
  • Darkness & teleport & infravision & gating (many 1e demons can do these)
  • fear (so can 1e’s balor glabrezu, nalfeshnee, and marilith)
  • levitate (so can 1e’s glabrezu)
  • telekinesis (so can both 1e’s glabrezu, nalfeshnee, and vrock)
  • detect invisible objects (so can 1e’s balor, marilith, and vrock)
While it's critical to understand the essence/roots/creative origins of a monster – and sometimes that's harder than it sounds! – D&D is a progression of design and lore. Yes, there's plenty of debate about specific decisions, but the big picture is that the authors/designers add layers of lore across various supplements and editions. If there is a spirit to 5e it is inclusivity, both of the broad player base and also the broad swath of past lore.

I do like the idea of the Miasma you introduced. The role of the Hezrou, however, was not originally as a sergent but as a front line soldier reveling in carnage and blood shed. This sergeant thing, again, was introduced in later edition (2ed if I remember correctly). The abyss has no need of a sergeant, the abyss wants bloodshed, carnage and destruction. So your Miasma in my eyes, is the only thing that should be added/modified to give the Hezrou some more punch.

Again, I urge caution with putting "the original" on a pedestal... In fact, the original OD&D hezrou had no role. It was just a demon, like any other. Phrases like "foot soldier" or "sergeant" or "torturer" or any other kind of descriptive role are wholly absent from the original demons. Instead, there was a physical description and list of powers. That's it. No ecology. No culture. No roles to speak of.

OD&D Eldritch Wizardry said:
Type II: The next most common type of demon, these foul creatures are a foot shorter than the tall Type I sort, looking somewhat like a gross toad with human arms in place of forelegs. Magic resistance is 55%, and intelligence is only fair. These demons can be struck by normal weapons or missiles. The darkness they cause at will is of the variety which covers a 15' radius. These sorts of additional abilities can be performed by these demons, one at a time, at will: Cause fear (as a fear wand), levitate (as an 8th level magic-user), detect invisible objects, telekinese 3,000 gold piece weight, gate in another Type II demon (20% chance of success).

So, yes, the Abyss may want bloodshed and carnage. But that should not preclude making each demon interesting both narratively and mechanically (in a way that wasn't done in their original incarnations).


There's a comment that Esper makes in this video about hezrou being "demonic fart ogres", and as ridiculous as it sounds, it's not far off the mark. He does a good job of underscoring the hezrou's narrative and mechanical lameness. Certainly, a weak dretch or manes doesn't need a bunch of story, but when you're dealing with an intelligent CR 8 monster on the order of a Drow Priestess of Lolth, a Githzerai Knight, a Mind Flayer Arcanist, or a Young Green Dragon, that sort of thin design no longer works (IMO, of course).
 


I think looking back to the original version of a D&D monster and using that original design as the only guiding light for how to make the best & truest version of that monster is misguided.

As I pointed out in my OP, the 1e traits you describe are not driving factors of unique monster design, rather they were endemic to many demons:
  • Darkness & teleport & infravision & gating (many 1e demons can do these)
  • fear (so can 1e’s balor glabrezu, nalfeshnee, and marilith)
  • levitate (so can 1e’s glabrezu)
  • telekinesis (so can both 1e’s glabrezu, nalfeshnee, and vrock)
  • detect invisible objects (so can 1e’s balor, marilith, and vrock)
While it's critical to understand the essence/roots/creative origins of a monster – and sometimes that's harder than it sounds! – D&D is a progression of design and lore. Yes, there's plenty of debate about specific decisions, but the big picture is that the authors/designers add layers of lore across various supplements and editions. If there is a spirit to 5e it is inclusivity, both of the broad player base and also the broad swath of past lore.

Yep, and sometimes, it is also important to understand why some changes were made. Some were made to compete with other RPG where monsters were heavy in lore whereas D&D was relatively light on lore and it was a weakness that nitpickers were using against D&D to call it the most basic of RPG... That is when the Bloodwar came into being something and the name change (Tanar'ri? don't have my books with me...). But originally, demons had no drive but chaos and destruction (and bloodshed... did I mentioned it?).

Is it a bad thing to have added background and roles to many monsters throughout the editions? Most of the time I would say no. It is quite the contrary. This has enable D&D to survive up to today. The lore added was important for everyone, including me.

But in the case of demons, It's not so clear cut. Demons are machines of chaos and evil. They are the epitome of chaotic evil. They fight among themselves, against the devil and whatever else comes in their way. That is why the Devils are winning battles against demons. They have a chain of command. They are very coordinated. The battles the demons win are because of their sheer numbers. So putting sergeants and generals in the demon's rank is not really something that I can readily accept. (I did not in 2ed, 3.xed and 4ed.)

On the Demon princes, Balors, Marilith and Nalfeshnee (read here the most intelligent of demons) I can accept a higher level of thought process. They can plan (if they can resist their urges) and they will. But they have to impose their will on the lesser demons. Remember that demons will not gang up on a demon prince. Their very nature prevents them from uniting. They will obey out of fear. That is why the Nabassau are relatively safe from the princes. But even they will bow to their better.

Again, I urge caution with putting "the original" on a pedestal... In fact, the original OD&D hezrou had no role. It was just a demon, like any other. Phrases like "foot soldier" or "sergeant" or "torturer" or any other kind of descriptive role are wholly absent from the original demons. Instead, there was a physical description and list of powers. That's it. No ecology. No culture. No roles to speak of.

And As I said above, for the demons, I think that the philosophy of the 1ed was right on spot. Maybe introducing demodands into the abyssal hordes might work for the roles of sergeants. Farastu, Shator (shatagor?) and Kelubar have their origin in Tarterus. If I recall correctly, they travel freely between Hades, Tarterus and the Abyss. These could be the demons (demodand) that Demonic Princes would use for their war and enlistment efforts. Yuggoloth (Daemons in 1ed) could still fill their role as mercenaries. Hell would have nothing to do with the chaotic evil demodands. So they might be a good pick up.
 

dave2008

Legend
...But originally, demons had no drive but chaos and destruction (and bloodshed... did I mentioned it?).
Actually I just reviewed the 1e MM1 MM2 and in neither demon entry (they are virtually the same BTW) do they mention demons being engines of destruction and bloodshed. That is you adding lore that wasn't their. This is a mention about the less intelligent ones attacking "without question," but that is a far cry from universal engines of destruction and bloodshed IMO.

...Demons are machines of chaos and evil. They are the epitome of chaotic evil. They fight among themselves, against the devil and whatever else comes in their way.... The battles the demons win are because of their sheer numbers...
Again, that is not something that is actually presented in the original demon "lore," anything of that nature was later, or made up by you.

So putting sergeants and generals in the demon's rank is not really something that I can readily accept. (I did not in 2ed, 3.xed and 4ed.)
It is hard to accept things when they go against what you made up.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
But in the case of demons, It's not so clear cut. Demons are machines of chaos and evil. They are the epitome of chaotic evil. They fight among themselves, against the devil and whatever else comes in their way. That is why the Devils are winning battles against demons. They have a chain of command. They are very coordinated. The battles the demons win are because of their sheer numbers. So putting sergeants and generals in the demon's rank is not really something that I can readily accept. (I did not in 2ed, 3.xed and 4ed.)

Gotcha. I see the core of your complaint has to do with the militaristic hierarchy implications around using a word like "sergeant."

That was not my intent, rather I was using an existing word from past lore about the hezrou as a common language. You could swap in "small group boss, press-ganger, and terrorizer" instead of "sergeant" and it would do just as well to convey what demonic "leadership" might look like.
 

Reread the third paragraph of the demons in MM 1ed.
"The less intelligent will attack without question and fight until slain."

This means that a demon will attack until it dies. Put a demon into town, it will attack everything, every one it can get its claws on and will kill that unfortunate soul. It will go from one victim to the next, careless of its own protection and safety. The fact that a demon can not be slain outside of its home plane works only on "greater" demons. All other demons don't care at all. They just revel in the carnage.

"No demon can ever be subdued"
Again, the book doesn't say carnage, destruction and blood shed. But couple this with the quote above and you get pretty much no surrender, destroy/kill everything you can.

Third paragraph
"Demons never willingly serve anyone. If forced to serve with magic or threat they will continually try to find a way to slay their master/captor"


Again, a normal creature would try to flee from its captor/master. They could try to kill but their main goal will be to flee. Not the demons. They will try to find a way to kill.

On demon's amulet...
"The demon will do the utmost to slay and carry all that remains to the abyss. ie: The character is lost forever."


Again, the demons holding an amulet will go to extreme length to go a step beyond simply killing. It will also ensure that the puny mortal will never be raised. It should be noted too that all demons (not only the owner of the amulet) will try to kill a character (or any mortal) holding such an amulet.

Here is a not so uncommon scenario: A fool summons a type V (marilith) and holds her amulet. The fool fails at controlling her so she gates a type II (Hezrou). Together they kill the fool. Do they go? Nope they stay and start to try to kill as much people as possible. The Hezrou might also try to summon another Hezrou (nothing prevented that in 1ed, leading to a chain of summoning as long as the rolls were successful...). Each demon would try to kill as much mortals as possible before either dying or being banned to their home plane. The marilith would fight as long as possible then would escape to the abyss with the remains of her would be captor.

Demons also roam the Etheral and Astral in search of victims....

Sometimes, a thing might not be explicitly named to be implied. If the above are not reasons enough to justify the carnage, bloodshed and destruction, nothing ever will.

Edit: Bolded the quotation for an easier read.
 
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Gotcha. I see the core of your complaint has to do with the militaristic hierarchy implications around using a word like "sergeant."

That was not my intent, rather I was using an existing word from past lore about the hezrou as a common language. You could swap in "small group boss, press-ganger, and terrorizer" instead of "sergeant" and it would do just as well to convey what demonic "leadership" might look like.
Yep, I give you that one fair and square.
 

dave2008

Legend
Here is a not so uncommon scenario: A fool summons a type V (marilith) and holds her amulet.
That would be exceptionally uncommon, perhaps impossible, as only demon lords and princes have amulets.

EDIT: Read the MM1 again it doesn't quite say that. It says:
Amulet01.JPG

Which lead me to believe it was just demon lords and princes, but then it says:
Amulet02.JPG

so I guess any demon can have one?

Sometimes, a thing might not be explicitly named to be implied. If the above are not reasons enough to justify the carnage, bloodshed and destruction, nothing ever will.
Yes, but since it is only implied, those implications can be interpreted differently. I disagree that it couldn't be more clear, they could simply state: Demons want nothing more than carnage, destruction, and bloodshed. Heck, I think they basically did that in 4e. Which I actually liked as is gave demons a clear difference from devils for the first time, for me at least.
 
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