Tuesday, July 2, 2019
OSR: Daemon Prince
What are they?
They are mortals that have ascended to pseudo-immortality and Daemonhood. They are similar to Outsiders, but even stronger and harder to kill.
That sounds awesome. So how do I become one?
To ascend to Daemonhood requires a great many steps, each more difficult than the last.
First, the Princeling must recruit an Outsider. This part is the essential first step in becoming a Daemon Prince. This Outsider will become the Princeling's mentor and guide him along the path to daemonhood. The Princeling should also be careful, as he must pick an Outsider who is trustworthy.
Secondly, the Princeling must prepare his mind. He must strengthen himself mentally, to enhance his will. This generally requires such things as wandering in the wilderness, long periods of fasting, extensive training, or some combination thereof. The Outsider will make suggestions for what specifically should be done, depending on what kind of Daemon Prince it is grooming the Princeling to become.
Thirdly, the Princeling must "marry" the Outsider and form a Covenant between them and the Outsider. This ceremony must be overseen either by an Outsider of equal status to the Outsider "marrying" the Princeling, a Priest, a Magistrate, a King or a God. The third party overseeing the Covenant must agree to act as the Mediator between the two parties, and to ensure that the agreement made before it is carried out.
The specifics of this Covenant are up for debate, but the primary requirements are this: the Princeling must agree to work his hardest to become a Daemon Prince and to acquire the necessary power and the Outsider must agree to hold this power but not use it, and to hand it over to the Princeling when he is ready.
Fourthly, the Princeling must accumulate enough magical power to become a Daemon Prince. Acquiring the power requires the souls or mortals or other creatures. How many it takes depends on what records you consult- and all the records we do have are spotty and incomplete. Some say it is a 1000, based on the popular saying, "A brave man's life is worth a thousand cowardly souls." Others point to large, esoteric formulaes that dictate specific numbers of souls, such as "the souls of 70 Sinners, 7 Virgins, 5 Priests, 3 Kings, an Outsider, a Dragon and a righteous man".
Fifthly, once the power has been gathered, the Princeling and the Outsider must conduct a ritual. At the appointed time, during the culmination of the ritual, the Princeling must imbibe of the power he has gathered. This is the most critical time. If anything goes wrong during this time, if anyone loses concentration or is suddenly wounded or something like that, everything can be ruined in moments. Additionally, even if the ritual goes flawlessly, the Princeling still may not be strong enough to contain the power. If he cannot, his death quickly follows.
But let us suppose that our Princeling has done everything correctly. Let us suppose that he has sought out the necessary ingredients, prepared himself thoroughly, his Outsider was trustworthy, he gathered the souls and the ritual went well. In that case, a new Daemon Prince is born.
First, I am going to be using "he" pronouns to refer to the Daemon Prince for the rest of this post. That's not to imply you can't have female Daemon Princes.
Secondly, not all Daemon Princes need be evil or chaotic or whatever. You could just as easily have a Good Daemon Prince, if you liked. Though you might need to change the name.
Thirdly, if you were a player in one of my games and you wanted to become a Daemon Prince, you could totally try.
The Benefits of Daemonhood
Daemon Princes do not age. They do not need to eat, drink or breathe. They do need to sleep as long as they inhabit a physical body, but only for several hours a day. They can regenerate their bodies as long as they aren't killed outright. Even a mortal wound can be healed by a Daemon Prince's magicks, but some things, such as being burned alive, decapitated or dismemberment will still be fatal.
Daemon Princes can also detatch themselves from their bodies and try to possess someone else's body. They can also ascend to the Higher Realms and leave this world behind. However, if they do this, they will have to be summoned back, just like any other Outsider.
Base Daemon Prince
SHP X AC Y Atk Z
Mor 10 Saves 7+X or less is a success
Damage Threshold X: All Daemon Princes have a Damage Threshold. They only take damage from sources if the amount of damage equals or exceeds their Damage Threshold. If a source of damage cannot equal or exceed the Threshold, instead ignore it, as if it did no damage. To determine a Daemon Prince's Damage Threshold, consult the table labeled "How strong are they?" below.
Daemon Dice: All Daemon Princes have a pool of power that they draw upon to power their abilities. This pool consists of a number of d6s equal to the number of creatures sacrificed to them recently. Treat these dice as spellcasting dice, burning out on a 5 or 6. However, these dice do not cause Chaos or Corruption or return the next day.
Shapeshifting: As an action, the Daemon Prince can change their body at will. This does not change its stats, but it can change the host's shape, appearance, scent and everything else about them.
Possession: If a Daemon Prince has abandoned its body or currently does not have one, it can attempt to take over the body of someone nearby. To do this, as an action, the Daemon Prince makes a mental attack against someone. That person must make a save. This save should only be conducted once per day, not before every attack. If the person failed his save, for the rest of the day, he takes 1d6 CHA damage from the Daemon Prince's mental attacks. On a success, he takes half damage from each mental attack. If this CHA damage ever equals or exceeds the person's CHA score, he is possessed, and the Daemon Prince takes control of his body.
If the person the Outsider is attacking does not possess a CHA score, instead calculate his Charisma score equal to his Morale+1 per class level he has.
Finally, if someone doesn't resist, the Daemon Prince can possess him as a free action.
Daemonic Powers: All Daemon Princes have a number of Daemonic Powers equal to the amount of power they possess. To determine how many powers they have, roll on the "How strong are they?" table below. Additionally, all Daemonic Powers are a full action to cast unless otherwise mentioned.
- Be totally confident in your victory
- Do not look for traps or exercise any real caution
- Concentrate your fire on one person at a time
- Kill the most dangerous or annoying person first
To generate a suitable Daemon Prince, roll on the tables below:
What does he look like?
1- A statuesque humanoid, beautiful and radiant, with a glowing halo and eyes that blaze with white fire.
2- A pale skinned, dark haired creature with glinting blue eyes. He seem to always glow with a radiant aura, blazing like the sun. During the day, this seems to be sunlight, while at night, the Daemon Prince is the source of the illumination.
3- A beautiful creature with the features of a dozen animal's, such as a bird's wings, a lion's mane, shark's teeth, etc. These do not appear to be random add-ons, but instead intentional design choices.
4- A scaled being with reptilian features and spines protruding from its body and a crown of levitating fire floating over his head. Wherever the Prince goes, flames flicker and change color and size with its mood, flaring up and then diminishing.
5- A creature covered in ornate, crab-like armor. If cracked away, it reveals that the Daemon Prince is actually stunningly beautiful underneath.
6- A fluid mixture of male and female, with wide hips and volutpuous breasts, along with broad, square shoulders and a strong chin. Immensely attractive or intensely repulsive.
7- A normal humanoid from the waist up, but with the lower body of a four-footed animal. Roll 1d6 to see what that animal is: [1= Horse; 2= Dog; 3= Lobster; 4= Crocodile; 5= Deer; 6= Buffalo.]
8- A humanoid with an animal's head. That animal is a: 1d6 [1= Ibis; 2= Hawk; 3= Falcon; 4= Horse; 5= Pig; 6= Crocodile.] and 1d4 extra limbs. 1d3 of those limbs resemble the arms of a: 1d6 [1= Octopus; 2= Lobster; 3= Frog; 4= Bat; 5= Cat; 6= Elephant's Trunk.]
9- The Daemon Prince is a skeletal, starved thing with cruel claws and dripping jaws, and eyes that betray a bottomless hunger.
10- The Daemon Prince's flesh resembles marble. The rest of the Prince is the same, cold, graceful, but utterly removed from mortality or its concerns. The Daemon Prince's familiar features come off as either a degrading impersonation or a cruel joke he is playing on you.
11- The Daemon Prince is a corpulent beast, covered in sagging flesh and blubber, heartily laughing at everything, its appetites for all things preserved over the long eons.
12- The Daemon Prince is covered in spines, spikes and barbs, every inch of his body resembling a pin cushion. The Prince bears claws and teeth, as well as a muscular tail tipped in massive spikes to complete his natural armaments.
13- The Daemon Prince resembles an aquatic creature, covered in layers of overlapping scales with a fin protruding from its head, and webbed fingers and toes.
14- A creature with the palest skin imaginable, features touched with the symptoms of hypothermia. Icicles grow from his garments and frost covers his beard. His flesh is colder than ice, his blood freezing before it hits the ground.
15- A man wreathed in constant, blazing fire. The Prince never touches anything flammable that he does not want to destroy. He is either unable or unwilling to turn off his flames.
16- A normal member of their species whose age seems to fluctuate based on his mood. When he is happy, he is a child, when he is enthusiastic, he is a young man, when he is angry he is a middle-aged man, when he is saddened or disheartened, he is an old man and etc.
17- A young adult member of the Prince's original species wearing something resembling a combination between superhero spandex and pajamas. Has a cool cape, hood with a long tail, or tails. Also, the Prince has a 50% of having a set of wings.
18- A prepubescent member of the Prince's original species wearing royal garments. None of the Prince's servants seem to find this odd.
19- A beautiful, radiant member of the Prince's original species. However, if attacked and damaged, part of the Prince's shell cracks away to reveal that his body underneath is rotting and diseased, riddled with a million wounds. The shell heals, but the blow to the Prince's pride will not.
20- A terrible, vicious-looking monster without a trace of the original humanity the Prince once possessed.
How strong is he?
1- Damage Threshold 6, SHP 6, AC 16, makes three attacks with an attack bonus of +2. He has the Daemonic Power of Regeneration. This Daemon Prince is weak by the standards of Daemon Princes and he knows it. He is twitchy and quick to spring to violence. He is also quite clever and does not fight fair. Do not underestimate him.
2- Damage Threshold 7, SHP 7, AC 15, makes two attacks with an attack bonus of +3. He has the Daemonic Power of Regeneration and 1 other. This Daemon Prince is proud of his accomplishment. He likely has no further desire to rise unless prompted by some outside force. He is cunning, but likely to use brute force to solve his problems.
3- Damage Threshold 8, SHP 8, AC 14, makes two attacks with an attack bonus of +4. He has the Daemonic Power of Regeneration and 2 others. This Daemon Prince is hungry for glory and power and will do anything to get it. He is also likely quite aware of his own relative weakness in comparison to the greatest of his kind. This is a source of shame to him and he will react badly if anyone points that out to him.
4- Damage Threshold 9, SHP 9, AC 13, makes two attacks with an attack bonus of +5. He has the Daemonic Power of Regeneration and 1d4+1 others. This Daemon Prince is utterly confident in his own invincibility. He will react with shock and horror the first time he is hurt. He hasn't been hurt in a very long time.
What tools or weapons does he have?
The Daemon Prince wears...
1- A lion-skin cape. His cape makes him take half damage from attacks from behind.
2- Spandex. Kind of silly looking, but still cool. Halves all blunt damage unless ripped, and it rips when the Prince takes sharp damage.
3- A bulletproof vest. Reduces all firearm damage by 2. Does nothing against any other type of damage.
4- Powered armor. Reduce all magic damage by 1 per [dice].
5- Plate mail. Reduces all sharp damage taken by 3.
6- Breastplate, helmet, greaves and shield. The Daemon Prince may use the shields must be splintered rule.
7- Bamboo armor. Reduce 1 Firearm attack by 1d12. After that, the armor crumbles.
8- Silk shirt. Reduce all arrow damage by 1d6. Has little effect against any other type of damage.
And he carries...
1- The Warhammer of Zanziko, Warrior's Gamble. Does 1d8 damage on a hit and has the power to force anyone it hits to reroll 1 of their attributes and take the worse option.
2- The broken, legendary sword, Fleshmarch. Does 1d6+STR damage on a hit and has the power that anyone who is injured by this sword is shoved 1 second per point of damage into the future. If at least five damage is done, the person vanishes and reappears next round.
3- A giant laser gun named Seawolf's Salvo. Does 2d10 damage on a hit, but must be reloaded between each shot.
4- A cloud of levitating shuriken. Does 3d6 damage divided among as many targets within 50' as the user wishes.
5- Bare hands. The Daemon Prince has a 50% of being enormously strong and a 50% chance of being an Expert in one of the Fist Arts. If the latter, he is an Expert in: 1d4 [1= Demon Flips the Cart; 2= Pattram Swordhand; 3= Leisure Kicks; 4= 49 Empty Palms.]
6- A firearm. The Prince's gun of choice is: 1d4 [1= A pistol (1d8); 2= Dual Pistols; 3= A Rifle (2d6); 4= A shotgun (3d6 at close range, 2d6 at medium, 1d6 at long).] Find the Firearm rules here.
7- A chainsaw. 2d6 damage on a hit, but makes a lot of noise. The Prince fails any attempts at stealth when his chainsaw is running.
8- A polearm or spear. 1d8+STR damage on a hit. Roll on the table in this post to see what polearm it is.
Who serves him?
1- A Cult of mortals.
2- A Battalion of slaughter-crazed Berserkers.
3- An Army of ancient Constructs.
4- A Horde of Undead.
5- A Party of legendary Adventurers.
6- A Pack of Ghouls.
7- A Clan of Demons.
8- A Company of Soldiers.
9- An Order of Wizards.
10- A Family of Giants.
11- A Tribe of Primitives.
12- A Cell of Dopplegangers.
What Daemonic Powers does he have?
Roll as many times as required on this table, rerolling duplicates.
1- Blasting Cone/Shape Charge: Everyone in a 30' cone takes [sum] damage, save for half.
2- Spell Shield: Any spell cast with less than [dice] does not affect the Daemon Prince. Can be used as a reaction.
3- Flight: The Daemon Prince can fly for [dice] minutes. Can be cast as a free action.
4- Regeneration: The Daemon Prince heals up to [dice] SHP, back to his max.
5- Terrifying Aura: The Daemon Prince begins exuding an Aura of pure malice. All within this aura must roll over [sum] to approach the Daemon Prince, otherwise they cannot move any closer to the Daemon Prince.
6- Heat Metal: [dice] metal objects suddenly heat up till they glow red hot, doing 1d6+[dice] fire damage to anyone touching them.
7- Telekinesis: One object is suddenly manipulated as if grabbed by an invisible creature with 13+[dice] STR (max 19(+4)).
8- Explosive Blast: The Daemon Prince conjures a ball of bubbling plasma and flings it at someone. The ball does [dice] damage on a hit. Then, one round later, it explodes, dealing [sum] damage to anyone within 10*[dice]', save for half.
9- Guided Bolts: The Daemon Prince fires [dice] bolts of energy at up to [dice] targets, each one requiring an attack roll. On a hit, each bolt does 1d6+[dice] damage.
10- Unnatural Strength: The Daemon Prince temporarily enhances his Strength, gaining a +[dice] bonus to STR checks, saving throws and damage rolls for [dice] minutes.
11- Lightning Speed: The Daemon Prince temporarily enhances his Speed, gaining a +[dice] bonus to any roll requiring speed or quickness of movement for [dice] minutes. He also moves up [dice] places in the initiative order.
12- Elemental Immunity: The Daemon Prince becomes immune to [dice] elements and elemental damage of that type for [dice] minutes.
13- Blister Field: The Daemon Prince exudes an aura of energy that extends out 10*[dice]'. Anyone inside this field takes [dice] damage a round, with no save permitted.
14- Charming Gesture: The Daemon Prince may attempt to influence a person. That person takes 1d6 WIL damage for [dice] rounds. If the amount of WIL damage that person takes ever equals or exceeds his WIL score, that person becomes charmed by the Daemon Prince and gains the Conviction, "I like [the Daemon Prince] and want to help them, though only as a friend would help out."
15- Geas: The Daemon Prince may force his will on one person. One person must save, with a penalty to their save equal to [dice]. On a failure, for the next [dice] minutes, the person will attempt to carry out one order the Daemon Prince has given them, no matter how stupid, unreasonable or suicidal the order is.
16- Disintegration: The Daemon Prince must make an attack roll against a person within 50'. On a hit, that person must save. If that person has more HD than [dice], he may add the difference to the saving throw. If he has 3x the amount of HD to [dice], he automatically passes. On a failed save, the person dies.
17- Healing Word: The Daemon Prince may heal one person he can touch of [sum] HP, back to the person's natural maximum.
18- Mutating Touch: The Daemon Prince may mutate any person he touches. No save is permitted to avoid this.
19- Open the Grave: The Daemon Prince may raise up to [dice] corpses as Undead Servants. Each of these corpses have [dice] HD and are otherwise normal Undead under the Daemon Prince's control.
20- Mana Zone: The Daemon Prince exudes an aura of energy that extends out 10*[dice]'. The Daemon Prince can sense everything that happens within this zone and gains a +[sum] bonus to avoiding attacks and relevant saving throws. However, this zone does not protect against non-physical assaults.
Weaknesses of Daemon Princes
Firstly, Daemon Princes need a body, just like an Outsider. Without a body, they can only use their Possession ability and are immaterial.
Secondly, Daemon Princes need a constant stream of energy to remain in our universe, as well as to fuel their impressive powers. If they do not have regular sacrifices of creatures to them, they will slowly wither until they resemble mortals once more.
Thirdly, Daemon Princes follow the same rules as Outsiders. If killed in a physical body, they die. While not attached to any physical body, they cannot be killed or really even hurt, but they cannot influence the physical world in any meaningful way, except by possessing someone or through words.
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