D&D 4E Yugoloths in 4E

Dunamin

First Post
Interesting ways to relate fiends, Krust. I like it!

Do the thematical ties of specific devils to sins in Christianity originate from somewhere when these fiends were written up in D&D, or is that your own conceptualization?
 

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Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Dunamin said:
Interesting ways to relate fiends, Krust. I like it!

Do the thematical ties of specific devils to sins in Christianity originate from somewhere when these fiends were written up in D&D, or is that your own conceptualization?

Well in certain occult classifications (Psellus) Demons are given six classifications: Aerial, Terrestrial (Subterranean), Terrestrial (Sylvan), Aqueous, Igneus and Heliophobe (basically Night Demon). Interestingly, 4E described the Shadow and Feywild planes as where they put all the dark and all the shiny stuff respectively.

Therefore we could hypothesize:

Aerial - Vrock - Pazuzu - Air
Aqueus - Hezrou - Demogorgon - Water
Terrestrial (Subterranean) - Glabrezu - Zuggtmoy - Earth
Terrestrial (Sylvan) - Marilith (though I might have initially said Succubus) - Graz'zt - Feywild
Igneus - Balor - Kardum - Fire
Heliophobe - Nalfeshnee (or Nabassu) - Orcus - Shadow Plane

Now is that a perfect fit or what. ;)

I'm thinking there would be minor (Heroic Tier), major (Paragon Tier) and True (Epic Tier) Demons. So you might have: Skullvym (Minor), Wastrilith (Major), Myrmixicus (True) Water Demons or Zovvut (Minor), Nabassu (Major), Nalfeshnee (True) Night Demons.

Of course you could always look to represent Para-Elemental (Juiblex for Ooze etc.) and Quasi-Elemental planes in a similar fashion.

The Obyrith could be some sort of Far Realm-Demon Crossbreed. Whilst the Yugoloths could be some sort of Shadow Plane-Demon Crossbreed (Their negative plane links is what makes them disease ridden?). Half-demons would be the Prime Crossbreed, but I am not sure where the Loumara would fit in that but probably as some sort of Astral crossbreed, with the Fomorians already ruling the FeyWild as the Fey-Demon crossbreed.

As regards Devils, in occult lore the terms demon and devil are often interchangeable. However, those named beings in D&D known as Archdevils are sometimes linked with the seven sins.

Lucifer - Pride (Unlikely that WotC will include Lucifer in D&D of course)
Mammon - Avarice
Asmodeus - Lust
Satan - Anger (Again, unlikely Satan will be mentioned in D&D)
Beelzebub - Gluttony
Leviathan - Envy
Belphegor - Sloth

To bring that more into line with D&D you could have:

Asmodeus - Pride
Mephisto - Envy
Beelzebul - Gluttony?
Geryon - Wrath
Belial - Lust
Mammon - Avarice
Dispater - Sloth?

Again I think its a small step to transpose the sins onto stock devils again with the three tiered approach: Least Devil (Heroic), Lesser Devil (Paragon) and Greater Devil (Epic).

Perhaps: Succubus (Least), Erinyes (Lesser) and Paeliriyon (Greater) as Devils of Lust, or Bearded (Least), Malebranche (Lesser) and Pit Fiend (Greater) as Devils of Wrath.
 

Lackhand

First Post
Upper_Krust said:
<snip> Perhaps: Succubus (Least), Erinyes (Lesser) and Paeliriyon (Greater) as Devils of Lust <snip>
Most of your post is brilliant. Nonetheless, 1) ew and 2) ew. Peliriyon. Ew.

Also, your classification of demons is (hopefully?) spot on. Good times, clever stuff.
Your classification of devils seems less so; as I imagine they'll give relatively little thought to the relative choirs of angels, I suspect that devils will be somewhat haphazard in types.

While the rulers may be sinfully aligned, and certain members of the race tied to a sin (succubus. Lust.), on the whole, I do not think that that sin-themes will be their core organizational pole.

Devils were made by a dark god, who they slew and seized the powers of; as directly created beings of the will of a deity, I think that that will be their thematic and organizational type. "What role did I fill for the fallen deity".

Maybe it will be, but it seems a lot more strained.
 

Dunamin

First Post
I can see what you’re trying to do here, Krust, and it’s truly fascinating, but I think one of the general design philosophies in 4E is to downplay starting-points where you fill a slot in an overarching pattern (for instance, by ditching the cosmological symmetry elements). Good show, nonetheless.

However, I also think that devils generally will not be themed over individual sins. Besides the point that there are only 7 deadly sins but 9 layers of Hell, I don’t see any of the sins characterizing, say, Dispater better than “paranoia”.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Howdy Lackhand! :)

Lackhand said:
Most of your post is brilliant.

:eek:

Nonetheless, 1) ew and 2) ew. Peliriyon. Ew.

:D

Also, your classification of demons is (hopefully?) spot on. Good times, clever stuff.

It seems the obvious choice for classification.

Your classification of devils seems less so; as I imagine they'll give relatively little thought to the relative choirs of angels, I suspect that devils will be somewhat haphazard in types.

Well I wonder how they will deal with Angels directly in 4E. They have already mentioned the Angel of Vengeance and I seem to recall they mentioned one of the Devils in the podcast where they had to pick groups of monsters of certain levels.

While the rulers may be sinfully aligned, and certain members of the race tied to a sin (succubus. Lust.), on the whole, I do not think that that sin-themes will be their core organizational pole.

I suppose it was one avenue they could have explored.

Devils were made by a dark god, who they slew and seized the powers of; as directly created beings of the will of a deity, I think that that will be their thematic and organizational type. "What role did I fill for the fallen deity".

I suppose there are some classic angelic roles that could be converted (or should that be perverted?) like the Herald, Standard Bearer, Soldier and so forth. But then, what the heck was the succubus before the 'fall'.

Maybe it will be, but it seems a lot more strained.

Your idea on how they'll handle the devils or mine do you mean?
 

Lackhand

First Post
Upper_Krust said:
Well I wonder how they will deal with Angels directly in 4E. They have already mentioned the Angel of Vengeance and I seem to recall they mentioned one of the Devils in the podcast where they had to pick groups of monsters of certain levels.
I (obviously) wonder this as well. :)

Upper_Krust said:
I suppose there are some classic angelic roles that could be converted (or should that be perverted?) like the Herald, Standard Bearer, Soldier and so forth. But then, what the heck was the succubus before the 'fall'.
I did say dark god -- they more or less still have the same role. Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss! :]

Upper_Krust said:
Your idea on how they'll handle the devils or mine do you mean?
I meant the sin-specific breakdown, it's a lot weaker and less thematic than your demonic one. Demons are elemental, devils are tricksy, humanoid plotters steeped in malice and intrigue, so I'd expect them to be modeled after bits of feudalism, or positions in an army (or church! Basically, pick your hierarchy!), and so on.

The sin thing works, but I think it's a whole kettle of worms they don't want to get into. You have religious difficulties, you have game-design difficulties ("This is Sloth. He should be as frightening as Wrath, and there should be a reason for them to be roughly as powerful."), and I think the devil breakdown you posited was shaky.

I don't necessarily like mine better, mind you -- it was just an off-the-cuff, other idea. I'd be surprised if I'm right ;)
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Howdy Dunamin! :)

Dunamin said:
I can see what you’re trying to do here, Krust, and it’s truly fascinating, but I think one of the general design philosophies in 4E is to downplay starting-points where you fill a slot in an overarching pattern (for instance, by ditching the cosmological symmetry elements). Good show, nonetheless.

I thought the design philosophy was to 'paint over' existing overarching patterns, rather than not have any pattern at all.

Dunamin said:
However, I also think that devils generally will not be themed over individual sins. Besides the point that there are only 7 deadly sins but 9 layers of Hell, I don’t see any of the sins characterizing, say, Dispater better than “paranoia”.

Well who says Dispater is in 4E, who says there are 9 Hells in 4E...other than Dante that is... :p

As for Dispater's 'sin' given that he rarely if ever ventures from his Iron Tower, sloth could be a good fit.
 

Upper_Krust

Adventurer
Howdy Lackhand! :)

Lackhand said:
I (obviously) wonder this as well. :)

I'm very curious about the power of the Solar or even if the Solar exists in this new era.

I did say dark god -- they more or less still have the same role. Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss! :]

:D

I meant the sin-specific breakdown, it's a lot weaker and less thematic than your demonic one. Demons are elemental, devils are tricksy, humanoid plotters steeped in malice and intrigue, so I'd expect them to be modeled after bits of feudalism, or positions in an army (or church! Basically, pick your hierarchy!), and so on.

You can have the feudalism with the sins, just like 4E has roles and power sources.

The sin thing works, but I think it's a whole kettle of worms they don't want to get into. You have religious difficulties,

Right enough. They changed the PHB cover because of the Tiefling, so they are a bit sensitive to that sort of thing.

you have game-design difficulties ("This is Sloth. He should be as frightening as Wrath, and there should be a reason for them to be roughly as powerful."),

Well theres no need for them to be equally power as long as they were on the same tier, and by having multiple tiers for each demonic sin we have multiple possible devils, so you get a good spread.

and I think the devil breakdown you posited was shaky.

All I could come up with off the top of my head.

I don't necessarily like mine better, mind you -- it was just an off-the-cuff, other idea. I'd be surprised if I'm right ;)

:D
 

pemerton

Legend
Just a minor point - W&M (pp 66, 73) strongly implies that Pit Fiends will be in, will be Devils, and will be differentiated mores strongly from Balors (eg by always having a retinue with them).

Also, on p 76 it referes to Asmodeus picking 8 of the mightiest devils to rule Hell's layers - this suggests that the 9 Hells remain so.
 

FourthBear

First Post
pemerton said:
Also, on p 76 it referes to Asmodeus picking 8 of the mightiest devils to rule Hell's layers - this suggests that the 9 Hells remain so.
I don't mind keeping the Nine layers, but I hope that the new origins and differentiation have writers use devils more in adventures and campaigns. Maybe it's just the last few years, but it seems like lately demons and the Abyss get all the love. I suspect a lot of that is that the Abyss is much more of a open sandbox for new stuff. Want to create your own demon lord? No problem, you can even create a whole new layer of the Abyss to call your own at the same time! However, the Nine Hells are limited to, well the nine Hells and nine specific planar rulers. You can always add new diabolic nobility (The Duke of Irritation), but I think for most writers that's not the same as being able to put in your very own demon lord.
 

The Little Raven

First Post
Upper_Krust said:
- If the demons are more elemental and monstrous, while the devils are more humanoid than previously, why even retain the Ice Devil, mention it was a Daemon (though that admission could have been metagaming), rather than making it a demon.

Daemons are demons, now. Ice Devils are demons "on loan" to the devils.
 

mhacdebhandia

Explorer
Shemeska said:
Planescape wasn't cancelled in the way you mean. It didn't have a seperate product line in 3e, but it was virtually omnipresent with every planar reference from the 3.5 DMG to the Manual of the Planes, the Planar Handbook, the BoVD, the BoED, Fiendish Codex I, Fiendish Codex II, and Expedition to the Demonweb Pits...
Come on, Todd. You sung a very different tune in the years before the Fourth Edition announcement when you complained (perhaps not unjustly, but that's not relevant) about all of the "disregard and disrespect" shown to Planescape's established canon in the same Third Edition products you're praising here - especially the Planar Handbook and the Book of Exalted Deeds. Remember? They gave the Lady of Pain a definite gender and alignment? They changed the names of all the guardinal leaders?

Let's not pretend that Planescape qua Planescape has been respected and preserved in Third Edition. First Edition's Great Wheel is not the same as Second Edition's Planescape is not the same as Third Edition's Great Wheel, each is simply an alteration of what has come before to suit the needs of the present edition. Ask Erik Mona about what Planescape did to the politics of the Nine Hells he knew and loved in First Edition, for instance.

Fourth Edition might be a more radical alteration, but it's a difference of degree, not kind.
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
mhacdebhandia said:
Come on, Todd. You sung a very different tune in the years before the Fourth Edition announcement when you complained (perhaps not unjustly, but that's not relevant) about all of the "disregard and disrespect" shown to Planescape's established canon in the same Third Edition products you're praising here - especially the Planar Handbook and the Book of Exalted Deeds. Remember? They gave the Lady of Pain a definite gender and alignment? They changed the names of all the guardinal leaders?

Heh. Hold on now. I didn't give my opinion of the books in that list you quoted, I just said that Planescape and the Great Wheel cosmology were the basis on which they were written so far as a continuity of basic cosmology went.

If you want me opinion, I'd rate the Planar Handbook 4/10, and the BoED 1/10 for various reasons. On the other end of the spectrum, FC:I is a 10/10, and FC:II is an 8/10.

Some of the designers behind 4e's cosmology and fiend changes are interestingly enough the same folks behind the material in the Planar Handbook and BoED that were so poorly received in 3e. That's one of the reasons I'm not exactly keen on 4e's planar content.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Yeah, daemons/yugoloths as Blood War mercenaries never sat very well with me. It's just not very impressive for a race that ought to be the absolute embodiment of evil.

If I were to design the "pure-evil" race for a Great Wheel cosmology, they would be malevolent, apparently emotionless creatures. While the demons seek to destroy the world and devils to control it, these beings would seek only to spread hopelessness and despair, to extinguish all light in the multiverse. They would seem rather cerebral, even contemplative, next to the other fiends.

FourthBear said:
I don't mind keeping the Nine layers, but I hope that the new origins and differentiation have writers use devils more in adventures and campaigns. Maybe it's just the last few years, but it seems like lately demons and the Abyss get all the love. I suspect a lot of that is that the Abyss is much more of a open sandbox for new stuff. Want to create your own demon lord? No problem, you can even create a whole new layer of the Abyss to call your own at the same time! However, the Nine Hells are limited to, well the nine Hells and nine specific planar rulers. You can always add new diabolic nobility (The Duke of Irritation), but I think for most writers that's not the same as being able to put in your very own demon lord.

I agree; although I think also that the Abyss is much more vivid and colorful.

When you get right down to it, the Nine Hells is just another ugly, nasty dictatorship, of the kind we see in the real world every day. There's not much in the Hells to really catch the imagination of players, DMs, or adventure designers; just a series of layers, all full of darkness, fire, and ugliness (except for Cania, which is full of darkness, ice, and ugliness). The Lords of the Nine similarly lack conceptual "hooks." To people who haven't made an effort to immerse themselves in Hells-lore, they all tend to blend together; a bunch of nasty, ugly, boring devils grubbing for power, in a bunch of nasty, ugly, depressing places.

The Abyss, on the other hand, has bright, clear distinctions and lots of concepts that beg to be explored. Orcus and Demogorgon aren't just another couple of indistinguishable demon lords. They're very different both in appearance and in theme, and each has imposed his persona on both the terrain and the denizens of his layer. When you see crawling reptilian horrors in a diseased jungle, you know you're dealing with Demogorgon. When you see an endless horde of undead warriors shambling across a desolate wasteland, that's Orcus. And the Abyss contains every imaginable type of terrain. Jungle, arctic tundra, desert, swamp, mountains--it's all there, along with all kinds of bizarre places that have no real-world analogues.

Part of the problem stems from the rigid hierarchy of the Hells; when every one of the Dukes has pretty much the same array of minions, it's hard to tell them apart. Furthermore, the constant rise and fall of archdevils means that the leadership of each layer is constantly changing, so it's hard to develop a strong association between a given layer and its reigning Duke.

As presented in 3E, the Abyss has vastly more scope for adventure than do the Hells. I hope 4E remedies this by making the Hells similarly vivid and putting more focus on the persona (appearance, theme, et cetera) of each of the Dukes of Hell. Develop a set of distinct minions for each of the Nine, and make the layers of the Hells a lot more visually separate. Adjust the nature of infernal politics so that there isn't this constant turnover among archdevils. It's supposed to be a plane of rigid order, for God's sake--how come the major demon lords stay the same century after century, but there's a new Duke of Hell every ten minutes? The Dukes might gain or lose influence, but the actual downfall of one of the Nine should be a world-shaking event.

At the same time, deal with the problem FourthBear pointed out by opening up more design space in the Hells for DMs and adventure writers to flex their creative muscles. Give the Hells a little of the "points-of-light" treatment. The Dukes of Hell reign from mighty citadels, but their power becomes attenuated as one moves away from those citadels. In the distant regions of the Hells, there is room for lesser devils to set themselves up as local lords. Such devils still owe allegiance to their Dukes, but aside from sending a yearly tribute of souls, they operate fairly independently--though most would give up that independence in a heartbeat for a chance to become power players at the Ducal court. Each of these lesser devil-lords exerts the same kind of terrain-shaping influence over its domain that the Dukes do over their layers, just on a much smaller scale.
 
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Shemeska

Adventurer
Dausuul said:
Yeah, daemons/yugoloths as Blood War mercenaries never sat very well with me.

Only the lesser yugoloths were heavily used as Blood War mercenaries. The greater yugoloths sold them like cattle, and used them to influence the course of the Blood War. The greater 'loths were distinctly different in their outlook and their actions.

If I were to design the "pure-evil" race for a Great Wheel cosmology, they would be malevolent, apparently emotionless creatures. While the demons seek to destroy the world and devils to control it, these beings would seek only to spread hopelessness and despair, to extinguish all light in the multiverse. They would seem rather cerebral, even contemplative, next to the other fiends.

That's exactly how the arcanaloths, ultroloths, and baernaloths were described in the more in-depth sourcebooks (and to a lesser extent the nycaloths). The arcanaloths for instance viewed the Blood War as their own personal experiment into the nature of evil, exploiting their own lesser fellows and their wayward CE and LE cousins as living data points to butcher and watch like rats in a maze.
 

Ripzerai

First Post
glass said:
It's not obvious to me.

I apologize. I thought it would be obvious to everyone, but I forget sometimes that not everyone is equally familiar with the history of the game.

Daemons, in Vault of the Drow, were introduced as natives of the three lowest planes, Tartarus, Hades, and Gehenna. They were not linked any closer to the Abyss than to the Hells. Claiming that making them natives of the Abyss is a way of bringing them back toward their original roots - if this is what the book in question actually claims - is a misrepresentation.

For the official pronunciation of "daemon," see Dragon #93, page 26. (DAY-mun)

I won't venture to guess whether it's a deliberate misrepresentation or something somebody's actually convinced themselves, but it's not an accurate summary of what daemons were like when they were first introduced.

This is, of course, predicated on the idea that the summary in question actually appeared in the book, and wasn't just a random poster's interpolation.

Mourn said:
And we wouldn't want logic to get in the way of people's emotions, now would we? We might get called insensitive or something.

Your sarcasm is cute but, since you presented no evidence to back up your claims, extremely hypocritical.
 
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Incenjucar

Adventurer
I have to say I like the notion of the yugoloths being sourced from the "pure evil" source...

It would be interesting to have the evil and chaotic aspects of creatures based on their nearness to the heart of the abyss... at the very pit, things are ultimately evil and the annihilation is more like a black hole... further out, chaos is the most distinct aspect, and the annihilation drive is more about chunks of rent matter...

The difference of erasing something and ripping it asunder.
 

pemerton

Legend
FourthBear said:
I don't mind keeping the Nine layers, but I hope that the new origins and differentiation have writers use devils more in adventures and campaigns. Maybe it's just the last few years, but it seems like lately demons and the Abyss get all the love. I suspect a lot of that is that the Abyss is much more of a open sandbox for new stuff. Want to create your own demon lord? No problem, you can even create a whole new layer of the Abyss to call your own at the same time! However, the Nine Hells are limited to, well the nine Hells and nine specific planar rulers. You can always add new diabolic nobility (The Duke of Irritation), but I think for most writers that's not the same as being able to put in your very own demon lord.
W&M is very clear that they want devils to see more use in adventures. They give this as one reason for promoting Asmodeus to divinity - they think that divine machinations by a leading evil god are more likely to get picked up on in play.

They also agree with you that demon lords have the advantage that they can be made up as needed. They advertise as a good thing about demon lords that they want to keep.
 

The Little Raven

First Post
Ripzerai said:
Your sarcasm is cute but, since you presented no evidence to back up your claims, extremely hypocritical.

Except you claimed that "And yeah, obviously folding them into the demonic race has nothing to do with "the origins of these creatures."" with nothing to explain it, simply because you're upset about one of your preferred elements getting the chop, instead of presenting any kind of real argument about why it's so obvious things aren't that way.

So, I figure it was your emotions getting in the way of your explaining why it's obvious, rather than a lack of understanding that other people don't necessarily see it that way.
 

Steely Dan

Banned
Banned
The separation of daemons/yugoloths (hate that name) from demons and devils always seemed a little contrived (since I first saw them in the 1st Ed MM II), IMO.

I do like the idea of daemons being a primal/prototypical demon-like offshoot, like the new fluff for Ice devils.

For the record, I totally dig Planescape, but some of it was definitely a bit contrived/forced in order to explain mechanical aspects of the game (alignment etc) in a meta-plot sense (rule of three etc).
 

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