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Old 11-15-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
TippetsTX
 
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Default Dealing with Demons

For those who played TFT back in the day, how did you handle demons? Were they simply wish factories or did they have any campaign-specific agenda?

Our GM, from what I recall, ignored them (and wishes) completely. I don't know if that was because he had a religious objection (it was the bible belt after all) or if they simply didn't figure into his narrative for us. It does seem, however, that the game mechanics for demons are focused almost entirely on their being the source for all wishes which really short-changes them IMO.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

In my campaigns I drew off the rich lore of demonology available in our world to populate the demon realm in the game. Books like The Key Of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis), The Grimoire Of Armadel, and the Grimorium Verum are excellent sources on demonic (and angelic) beings and their various natures. Demons are highly individualistic beings and it can be great fun to play them out according to their personal natures and ambitions.

Wishes never featured prominently in our campaigns, they always felt a bit of a gimmick. Demons were usually called up for other purposes. And I preferred to relegate wish-granting to djinn and certain types of faerie folk.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:24 PM   #3
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Wishes never featured prominently in our campaigns, they always felt a bit of a gimmick. Demons were usually called up for other purposes. And I preferred to relegate wish-granting to djinn and certain types of faerie folk.
TBH, the 'unlimited power over reality' aspect of demon-granted wishes bothers me too. I prefer having the demons do some actual leg-work to make the wish happen... for example, in order to grant a wish for riches might require the demon to go out and kill some rich guy and steal his stuff which would make the wisher responsible for the death and could lead to them being hunted by the rich guy's family. That seems more like how a demon would operate to me.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

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For those who played TFT back in the day, how did you handle demons? Were they simply wish factories or did they have any campaign-specific agenda?
In old TFT, to win a wish from a Demon (who had IQ 20), you had to roll 3 dice against the difference in your IQ's, or die. So an IQ 30 wizard would have a 50% chance of dying. We considered IQ 30, or any human with an attribute at 30+, more or "obnoxious-level" and requiring a really good explanation, if they existed at all, and there were almost no characters in our very large campaign worlds who had such a stat, let alone the IQ you'd want to consider doing that a worthwhile risk.

Both our GM styles and our player styles added up to little or no contact with demons, and the players usually not even finding out the details of how the GM might have modified how he handled them.

In my case as GM, after some surprises during play with players having thought more about certain magics than I had and using it by buying/renting services and items from the Wizards' Guild, etc, I learned I should read all of Advanced Wizard really carefully and think about which of the things existed where and how they were available in my campaign world, and if I felt I needed to modify, remove, or develop any of it. With demons, I didn't like that they seemed vaguely Judeo-Christian, nor their terrible power for long-distance-teleporting assassin/thief/chaos missions, nor the theoretical ability to farm wishes. I decided they did exist, but that they were fickle and dangerous enough that wizards smart enough to be able to summon them were also wise enough to only use them if they felt they had to, and that the Wizards' Guild might even take interest and intervene if someone started over-using demons. And that it would get more complicated and interesting than described in the book if someone started abusing demons a lot.

But, it didn't really come up. I think the spell was only used a few times, and not by and almost never near PCs.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

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TBH, the 'unlimited power over reality' aspect of demon-granted wishes bothers me too. I prefer having the demons do some actual leg-work to make the wish happen... for example, in order to grant a wish for riches might require the demon to go out and kill some rich guy and steal his stuff which would make the wisher responsible for the death and could lead to them being hunted by the rich guy's family. That seems more like how a demon would operate to me.
Yes, that makes sense. Plus, if demons have so much power at their disposal, why don't they already rule our realm as well? The answer, to me at least, is that they need human(oid) agency to bring them over into this realm and to grant them the power to act. So a demon carrying out a task for a mortal is probably going to use the situation to their own advantage as well. Any gain conveyed to the player would almost certainly be offset by a greater loss to one or more other people.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

Demons make a regular showing in my long-running campaign, though they are quite a bit more individuated than RAW TFT demons; I design them to be more or less similar to demons in Chaosium's Stormbringer/Elric. Wishes have never been a significant factor in any TFT game I've run. As a GM I occasionally call on them as an excuse for some bizarre magical act that happens, but I've never had a player who made a point of 'farming' them. My players are lazy. Or, rather, they work hard but only when they sit down to play. So, they don't really pursue tricks that are cooked into the rules.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

So now I'm curious as to how folks plan to reconcile the new allowance for characters purchasing lesser wishes using XP. Those have to come from demons as well right? And since those will potentially be much more commonplace, will you have the corrupting nature of demons influence those wishes or will they remain fairly benign?
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

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So now I'm curious as to how folks plan to reconcile the new allowance for characters purchasing lesser wishes using XP. Those have to come from demons as well right? And since those will potentially be much more commonplace, will you have the corrupting nature of demons influence those wishes or will they remain fairly benign?
A simple solution is to presume the existence of low-level demonic beings which are essentially a slave-class in the demon realm, and which are able to be tapped through the XP-wish mechanism to provide lesser wishes. These have little-to-no will of their own and basically act as wish energy sources for demons, and through XP/magic for mortals. So one wouldn't perforce have to add any kind of demonic influence in these cases, it would be more akin to drawing on mana, which is assumed to be a neutral process.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:06 PM   #9
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So now I'm curious as to how folks plan to reconcile the new allowance for characters purchasing lesser wishes using XP. Those have to come from demons as well right? And since those will potentially be much more commonplace, will you have the corrupting nature of demons influence those wishes or will they remain fairly benign?
No, they don't have to come from Demons.

I would say that "wishes" gained with XP are a different thing with a subset of the Demon wish's power, which represent the character's experience/ability/genius/whatever to do inspired things or gain insights, etc.

I would let them do abilities 2, 3, and 5, but not 1 or 4, as those can be way too surreal and can't be explained the way I just did if they are used in extreme cases, e.g.:

1) I aim for the head of the king/dragon/whatever from extreme range, in darkness, and/or through many intervening figures, but I use my Wish to roll a 3 and do triple damage.

4) I have massive injuries but I wish it away - guess it was "just a flesh wound".

I would allow a reduced version of both, however:

1) If you want a particular roll result and wish for it in advance, I'll let you re-roll for it twice rather than just once, but you can't just specify a 3.

4) I might allow some exceptional healing if it's limited to maybe 1/2 your ST, or enough to change a lethal wound you just received to a "your ST is just down to 0".
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dealing with Demons

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No, they don't have to come from Demons.

I would say that "wishes" gained with XP are a different thing with a subset of the Demon wish's power, which represent the character's experience/ability/genius/whatever to do inspired things or gain insights, etc.

I would let them do abilities 2, 3, and 5, but not 1 or 4, as those can be way too surreal and can't be explained the way I just did if they are used in extreme cases, e.g.:
I think that will be similar to my solution as well... I plan to re-characterize lesser wishes as 'hero points' and eliminate the demonic source entirety.
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