D&D 5E When Demons Intrude (Wandering Monsters 10/23/13)

Kinak

First Post
This week, James Wyatt talks about Yeenoghu, Orcus, and general demon summoning.

The focus is really about how summoning a demon into the world is a big deal and should leave a permanent stain, which I can absolutely get behind.

I'm not sure about the examples, though. To me, they both seem pretty flat, but I'm not familiar with the H1-H4 modules. Am I missing something awesome about Orcus's story there?

Cheers!
Kinak
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Stormonu

Legend
H2-H4 are really bad adventure design. H1 is really different than the other three, and the only decent one out of them. H3 and H4 feature the growing threat of Orcus and his followers. In H4, you go after Orcus. I don't remember any lasting effects of Orcus lore/events from the adventure, but it has been a long time since I read them.

As an aside, I really like the turn of phrase, "One story goes". I'm glad its not an absolute origin story - mainly as I'm not very fond of Yondalla's appearance.

And ironfell? Can't they come up with a better name? Night metal, Blood iron, Orcanium, something?

<EDIT> To be honest, I don't really like putting demons and devils in my games (I was very glad when they disappeared at the release of 2E), so I don't think there's much in this article for me. I'd also like to go back to the original AD&D monster summoning tables. I'd like to put randomness back into the summoning (with a much bigger summoning pool to draw from), maybe require some sort of Spellcraft check or sympathetic token if you want a specific monster. That might fit in with this article - if you want to summon a demon or devil, your best chance is to have some sympathetic token to draw them - in this case, blood or similar sacrifices or perhaps offering up your "soul" to draw their attention.
 
Last edited:



Stormonu

Legend
H4 is among the single worst modules in D&D history. Cigar smoking, beer drinking celestial with an over the top Texas accent who lives in the fortress of El Amo on Mount Celestia. The module is over the top to the point of being silly, nonsensical, and giving a beer and pretzels presentation to epic events to the point where it just gets dumb with bigger and bigger numbers. It's bad.

I would never ever use that series of modules to present how to use demons, or to present the planes in a campaign.

Sadly, it seems 1E/early 2E never really treated anything over 12th level seriously. It's like the designers saw the level of power and just couldn't keep a straight face. Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut, Castle Greyhawk, Throne of Bloodstone. About the only exception I can think of is Labyrinth of Madness, and wasn't that a Monte-made module (he strikes me as understanding high-level a shred better than others).
 

Li Shenron

Legend
The focus is really about how summoning a demon into the world is a big deal and should leave a permanent stain, which I can absolutely get behind.

It sounds to me like a totally campaign-dependent matter...

I could run a campaign where even the lesser outsiders are a big deal, that doesn't mean I wouldn't want next to run another campaign where they are irrelevant mooks you can summon freely as cannon fodder. I tend to prefer the first, but none is better than the other, they are just different campaign choices.

I know they have to set a game default, and they want to gauge the preference of the majority for that.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
And lo' and behold...yet again, all of the poll results give them exactly the answers they want..."Yes, yes. Oh yes you're stuff is right on great and I'm gonna use it. You've given me something I've never noticed or thought to use before." Amazing how that happens week after week.

I will agree, sounds like things were heard loud and clear after last week with that, "One story goes..." THAT, at least, is a plus. Keep it in mind, guys...always!

The rest of this is fine, but as usual, nothing world-shattering...ironic given the topic and thrust.

Also concur with "ironfell" = blech/yawn. They sho do love them some 'fell over there in the "creative" department. "Oo! I've got this <insert creature/item/place...and now metal ore>. It's so shoooOOooopky n' eeeEEEeeevilllllll...I know! We can make it 'fell too! Bill, ring down to legal. Get us a [tm] on '<whatever>fell', stat!"

I agree that bringing in demon/devil/lord/princes should be huge, difficult and really really bad occurrences with lasting scars on the landscape. A vrock? Uhhh not so much. In fact, if they made it, in game, that you can only "summon" named demons/devils, I'd be all for it.

Also VERY happy to hear they want to get away from (or at least aren't interested in encouraging) summoning "celestial or fiendish what-nots" on a whim. Summoning should be a BIG deal.

Summoning something from another plane of existence, to my tastes/play aesthetic, show be an impressively powerful and rare happening...not something any joe-shmo calling themselves a "summoner" can learn at 1st (3rd or even 6th or 8th level). We're playin' D&D here, not Digigatchamagipoke...<grumble, grumble, mumble, more coffee, grrrrr.>

EDIT: And yeah, the Yeenog-who[?] "one story is..." was cool enough. Orcus' was way flat and boring for someone who's a D&D icon. Are things supposed to be more boring and lame the more powerful they are? Demogorgon gonna be a two-headed chimp whose presence screams through the legendary banana-fell?
 
Last edited:

Argyle King

Legend
I like the general premise. Summoning Demons should (by default; individual campaigns may differ) be a big deal, and a Demon Prince should be an even bigger deal. I 100% agree with that.

Though, I didn't really understand the point of the Orcus mention. It seemed a little bland with a side of bland while not really making sense in the context of the article.

I dislike the Gnoll story. I dislike it less now that I've had time to think about it. My initial reaction was probably more extremely negative than was warranted. I've managed to move from "absolute hate" to "dislike, but can live with I guess."
 

Kinak

First Post
As an aside, I really like the turn of phrase, "One story goes". I'm glad its not an absolute origin story - mainly as I'm not very fond of Yondalla's appearance.
Yeah, that's very key. I think it could be a better story, but if they keep it as a story I won't have to retcon it.

And ironfell? Can't they come up with a better name? Night metal, Blood iron, Orcanium, something?
Even felliron would be better, although not by much. Ironfell sounds like it should be a place name where a meteor fell or a "fell" made out of iron. At least felliron sounds like it's describe a metal.

H4 is among the single worst modules in D&D history. Cigar smoking, beer drinking celestial with an over the top Texas accent who lives in the fortress of El Amo on Mount Celestia. The module is over the top to the point of being silly, nonsensical, and giving a beer and pretzels presentation to epic events to the point where it just gets dumb with bigger and bigger numbers. It's bad.

I would never ever use that series of modules to present how to use demons, or to present the planes in a campaign.
Wow, that sounds... awesome. Glad I missed that one.

It sounds to me like a totally campaign-dependent matter...

I could run a campaign where even the lesser outsiders are a big deal, that doesn't mean I wouldn't want next to run another campaign where they are irrelevant mooks you can summon freely as cannon fodder. I tend to prefer the first, but none is better than the other, they are just different campaign choices.

I know they have to set a game default, and they want to gauge the preference of the majority for that.
This is one of the flavor things that I feel the system itself has played a big role in before. If you have Summon Monster I-IX and can ring up whatever outsiders you're cleared for at a moment's notice, it's harder to make them feel like a big deal.

Mechanically, it'll probably be fine if they make those spells require concentration, but flavor-wise it's still a disconnect between these easy short-term summons and the summonings we tend to tell stories about.

steeldragons said:
And lo' and behold...yet again, all of the poll results give them exactly the answers they want..."Yes, yes. Oh yes you're stuff is right on great and I'm gonna use it. You've given me something I've never noticed or thought to use before." Amazing how that happens week after week.
Yeah, I hope they're not using those results for anything because the polls are written in an extremely leading manner.

Johnny3D3D said:
Though, I didn't really understand the point of the Orcus mention. It seemed a little bland with a side of bland while not really making sense in the context of the article.
Yeah, I figured I was missing something. Now I'm just confused.


Cheers!
Kinak
 

Li Shenron

Legend
This is one of the flavor things that I feel the system itself has played a big role in before. If you have Summon Monster I-IX and can ring up whatever outsiders you're cleared for at a moment's notice, it's harder to make them feel like a big deal.

Yes indeed, there are spells the mere presence of which can change the tone of the game and the style of the story.

I don't think changing how those spells work is the key. Having those spells in the game as-is means the game is in "summoning is trivial" mode. You could e.g. add expensive/rare or story-based spell components to make them more important, but what would you get? That they become in fact more important, so you just shifted the game to "summoning is special", and you have at the same time made the "summoning is trivial" mode impossible. It's one or the other, and if you add only minor complications to the spells, you probably get neither mode, because the complication/expense is just an annoyance to those who want it trivial, and not enough for those who want it special (unless you're lucky to find exactly the perfect idea).

If it was for me, I would just put a visible "OPTIONAL" label beside spells that can change the campaign tone (other examples are Identify, the resurrection series, Wish/Miracle...), then tell in a sidebar how the game changes with or without such spell, or with or without a strong story-based requirement for example.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top