Saturday, January 15, 2011

Demons and Devils

Tonight's post was inspired by the excellent Dreams in the Lich House blog.  Beedo's Gothic Greyhawk is a very similar setting to my own Dark Country (so it's easy to loot from).  Also his Black City idea is the very definition of awesome, but that's unrelated to this post.

In a recent post, Beedo discussed the place of religion in his campaign.  Much like the Dark Country, his setting uses the three point Law v. Chaos alignment scale instead of the nine point AD&D one.  As such he had to figure out where to place Demons and Devils, and so must I.

One interesting facet of this conundrum is that B/X or BECMI D&D doesn't actually have Demons and Devils.  Keep on the Borderlands mentions Demons, but otherwise you have to find them in AD&D.  Since I don't have a copy of the AD&D Monster Manual, I'm pretty much left high and dry.  The AEC has stats for a select few, but I only have a PDF copy and as such I'm unlikely to use it at my table.

If I had never played D&D, I would not really conceptualize Demons and Devils as being separate entities.  For the purposes of the Nightwick Campaign they're one in the same.  The legions of the Pit are without number, and many shapes teem in their vast hordes.  Since every supernatural thing in my setting is somehow related to the God of Law's creation and the War in Heaven, it makes little sense for me to divide the two.

But where the hell do I get stats for them?  If I get the AEC in hard copy (which is a possibility) I'll like steal at least a few from it -- particularly Orcus.  However,  I'm very tempted to use the Random Esoteric Creature Yadda Yadda by Jim Raggi of LotFP.  It's a brilliant book which has yet to see use in this campaign, much to my chagrin.  I'll likely use it to fill out the rank and file of Demons while looking to more Goetia based sources for the higher ups in the Demon hierarchy.


  1. I am not a fan of standard otherworldly demons/devils for B/X. I much prefer the more pulpy, unique horrors like Zargon from B4: The Lost City. So I say go for the Random Esoteric.

  2. Well my setting is largely grounded in the Middle Ages and Metal album covers, so demons with horns and whatnot fit in pretty well. I just don't have a place to get them from.

  3. Thanks for the kindly words, Evan. The Dark Country is what Gothic Greyhawk should have been, if I hadn't been a bit lazy back when I kicked it off. The great thing about a Middle Ages style campaign, there's such a depth of real-world inspiration available (like those 7 Saxon cities of Transylvania).

    I tend to agree, in a campaign where Lawful = good and Chaotic = evil, two other-planar enemies isn't necessary. And if you're not adopting the AEC whole cloth, making the servants of the Adversary fairly unique is a good way to go; I haven't gotten the Esoteric Yada Yada yet, but I wonder if there's a way to skew the results for infernal creatures.

  4. If you have the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, you could also use Appendix D: "Random Generation of Creatures from the Lower Planes".