- Publication date
- CC0 1.0 Universal
- Rainbow Magazine
Demons in the Dungeon? Let's See 'Em All!
by Bill Nolan
Rainbow FRP Columnist
(Mr. Nolan, an experienced Dungeonmaster in a popular fantasy role
playing game on a weekly basis, is the President of Prickly-Pear
As I pointed out last month, in my own campaigns I find that whenever
I mention the possibility of demons in the area, there is a general
tendency for the players to have their characters leave town in the
other direction. This may well represent wisdom on their part,
because when you run the program this month you will see that these
are very powerful creatures indeed, and have little or nothing to fear
from the 5th or 6th level adventurer. Should they just not be used
then? I will come back to that question after telling you a little
more about the program.
This month's program is simply a way for you to get quick information
about a particular kind of demon without looking it up. If you use
this when stocking your dungeons with monsters, it will help you to be
faster and more accurate. It is quite long, over 12K in fact, so you
can see that there is simply a lot of information needed when dealing
Now, back to the question about whether we should use demons or not.
I personally feel that they add a valuable presence to the game. They
represent the embodiment of chaotic evil, and as such, they give the
good adventurer a goal. They are the terrible beings that an
adventurer can hope to face and defeat some day, even if that day is
far off. They are thereto remind the adventurer just what he (or she)
is fighting against. Sure, they are hard to defeat, but what truly
worthwhile goal is easily attained? Besides, in the meantime there
are several ways that they can add flavor to your campaign right now.
Like I said last month, the Succubbi, and their boyfriends the
Inccubbi, may be one of the easiest to bring in, just for their
nuisance value. Picture this: A party of five or six characters of
4th to 6th level is wandering through a dungeon looking for something
to steal, when their attention is attracted by a series of yells,
screams and groans, emanating from a cross corridor. Naturally they
run right down to see what is going on. (Adventurers make their
living by nosing into other people's business.) Well, sure enough,
they find a large group of nasty, hideous Ores just about to do
unthinkable things to a helpless maiden they have captured. (Helpless
maidens really should be more careful!)
The adventurers rush right in to engage the Ores in melee. What else
would you expect them to do? If they were smart, they would have
become bankers, or magazine publishers, not adventurers. After all,
you can get killed fighting Orcs. Luckily, these particular
adventurers are able to route the Orcs and rescue the maiden, who is,
of course, very grateful, having just been saved from a fate worse
than death. So very grateful is this maiden, that she is unable to
control the well of gratitude which bubbles up inside her, and in a
fit of total impetuosity, she runs up to each adventurer and plants a
Surprise! The maiden is really a Succubbus, the party is now a party
of 3rd to 5th level, (Succubbi steal life energy levels with a kiss.)
and the Ores were in cahoots with her to dupe the party. Natualiy, to
avoid detection, the Succubbus had polymorphed herself into appearing
like a regular girl. It wouldn't do going around with your wings
hanging out. That makes people suspicious. Having bestowed her
kisses, the lady then takes her leave, without saying goodbye, as she
feels that the party may not appreciate these kisses, and may even
become angry with her for bestowing them.
After this happens a couple of times, you will find that nobody will
go near maidens in distress, in fact, maidens in distress, formerly
quite popular, will be as welcome as typhoid. Now that everyone is on
their toes, you can have them run into a demon of maybe Type IV or VI
who is guarding that pass in the mountains through which it is very
necessary for the party of adventurers to travel. This heavy duty
demon may well demand a large payment in money or magic (or both) to
allow passage. The party doesn't have to pay up; it can always fight,
which brings me to may next point, which is how to fight a demon.
Demons aren't all that tough in a rough and tumble, and if they were
to just stand and hack it out with you, many a 3rd level fighter would
walk all over them. The physical damage they do, with some
exceptions, isn't all that bad, and is certainly nothing to worry the
average party of five or six people, as long as they have the magic
weapons necessary to hit the demons.
The strong point of demons is their magic ability, and the first aim
of any group of adventuring characters must be to prevent the use of
that magic. Just like their magic-using counterparts among the
adventuring classes, a demon must take a little time to cast a magic
spell (the rulebooks tell how long each spell takes) and he must
concentrate fully on that spell until it is completed. If a
successful hit is made on the demon with some weapon, his
concentration is broken, and his spell will be ruined.
The party should dose to weapon range as fast as possible and start
cutting away at the demon. If you can prevent his magic use, he won't
be all that hard to defeat, so the byword is all-out attack. In this
fight fitness may be a detriment. And remember, if you are losing...
never hurts to run. "He who fights and runs away, may live to fight
So make use of those demons in your campaign. They add a lot of
spice, not to mention fire, and brimstone.
Next month there will be two programs. One will be for those disk
users out there, and will be a disk menu which will automatically run
any of may previous programs from this column. I will also give
instructions on how to add to it as you like, or adapt it to any disk
you want. The second program will be a surprise.
By the way, how do you like the Prickly-Pear Dragon on the column head
this month? If you have any comments or suggestions, be sure to write
me at 9822 E. Stella Road, Tucson, Arizona 85730. Write in care of
Prickly-Pear Software. The address above is new. We finally got more
space. See you next month.
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