Sunday, November 27, 2022

FIGHT / DEMONS

The Old King - Alexandre Chaudret


Five years ago, the world was saved when a gang of Plucky Adventurers defeated the Dreaded Demon Emperor, once and for all. The adventurers all perished nobly in that final battle to bring It down, and the All-Conquering Citadel was left a smoking crater from horizon to horizon.

Sadly, the world hasn't stayed saved.

Roving rogue demons, the remaining lieutenants of the Dread Emperor, and the travesty that is Human Nature have kept the world circling the drain. Our only remaining lifeline is the devils, bound demons that keep us fed and clothed after the collapse of civilisation. Our best weapons are implanted Devil Shards, spells and combat abilities that leverage the demonic threat against itself. Our one path out of the darkness is threading the needle between starvation and corruption.

And of course, in order for us all to survive, some of us need to FIGHT / DEMONS.

Character Creation

Roll for three Life Events, one Devil Shard, a weapon, a tool, and a memento.

The centre of your character is your Soul, a 3x3 grid that grows with your various Life Events. Each Event will modify your Soul, adding or removing squares, or changing how it works in some way. Devil shards come in many different shapes and sizes, so fitting them into your Soul can be a challenge. In general, physical devil shards are tall, magical shards are wide, and defensive shards are lumpy.

Your Soul grows in four direction, due to four types of experiences:
  • Up, Violence Quelled
  • Down, Suffering Bourne
  • Left, Secrets Kept
  • Right, "Enlightenment"

The starting 3x3 is the Centre, which can include the closest possible squares to that area.

For instance "+2 Down" would add two squares to the lowest part of your Soul, in any arrangement you choose.

This is what a brand new Soul looks like:



This is what a Soul looks like after it has received +2 Up, +1 Left, -1 Right and +2 Down:



Life Events, roll three times (d100)
  1. Broadened Horizons, +1 to the furthest point of your Soul
  2. Lost an eye, +2 Down
  3. They needed to die, for the good of us all. It was so long ago now, do you still see their face? +1 Up
  4. Changing Mindset, +1 to whichever side has the fewest squares
  5. Tortured. -3 Centre, +3 Up, +2 Down
  6. Scarred by fire. +1 Down
  7. Earthquake split apart the earth, swallowing your home whole. +1 Down
  8. Survived a noxious fever, wracked by visions that flash back occasionally. +1 Down, +1 Right
  9. Conquered by a warlord, at least they're human. +2 Down
  10. They used you as a decoy, to lure away the demons. It didn't work, you were the only one that got away. +1 Up or +1 Down
  11. Death in the family, +1 Any
  12. An eternal storm crawled up from the coast and found a new home above your village, grinding it down to the bedrock. You heard the songs of the clouds. +1 Down or +1 Left
  13. Found a lost tome, from the ancient times. +1 Left
  14. Were you betrayed, or were you the traitor? +1 Down, or +1 Up
  15. Put down a family dog, rabid and demon-touched. +1 Up
  16. Heart Broken, +1 Down, +1 Right, -1 Centre
  17. Don't you know there's a war on? +1 Up, gained combat experience
  18. Drug Addiction, -1 Down, +1 Right, add more Right if you indulge further
  19. Ended up part of a gang of low-lives. Why did you join them? Are any of them still alive? +1 Any (depending on answers)
  20. Wandered, Lost and Alone. +1 Left
  21. Fascinating Research, but ultimately useless. +1 Left or Right
  22. Horrendous Truth, discovered in the bowels of the earth. Move any number to Left, gain a gruesome revelation
  23. Fact of the matter is, they had stuff you wanted, and you killed them for it. -1 Up, gain something valuable
  24. Helped build a homestead, out in the wilderness. +1 Right or Down
  25. Visited a bizarre alien realm in a dream. At least, you thought it was just a dream. +1 Left or +1 Right
  26. Had a short apprenticeship with one of the old masters. They died, but taught you a little of what they knew. +1 Right, and learned about (d6): 1. Masonry, 2. Jewel-cutting, 3. Clock-making, 4. Music composition, 5. Tea, 6. Watercolours
  27. Overheard a scrap of a prophecy. It would've been better if you hadn't. +1 Left
  28. You kept that little flock of animals alive, and they kept you alive in turn. +1 Right or +1 Down
  29. Recovered a cache of seeds, grew an untainted crop, +1 Right
  30. Created a masterful work of art in your sleep. +1 Left
  31. Helped a Demon Hunter drink poison before they fully turned. -1 Right, gain an extra Devil Shard
  32. When you came to, all the demons were dead, and so were all of your travelling companions. How could this have come to pass? +1 Left or Down
  33. Forged a sword from scratch. +1 Up or Right
  34. Pieced together a fragment of ancient history out of mere scraps. It revealed more questions than answers. +1 Left
  35. Rallied the villagers to defend the town. Shame how many of them died in the process. +1 Up
  36. Vicious, disfiguring scar. +1 Down, and a story to tell
  37. Helped rebuild a defensive fort in the bucolic countryside. +1 Up or +1 Right
  38. Village burned down, +1 Up, +1 Down, -1 Right
  39. Tamed a wild beast. +1 Right
  40. Witnessed a dark ritual. +1 Left, +1 Right, diagonally from each other. The first time something tries to possess you, it automatically succeeds
  41. Shapeshifting demon tried to impersonate you. +1 Up, +1 Left, -1 Right
  42. Imprisoned. -1 Left, +2 Up, move any number from Centre to Down
  43. Shown a little kindness in your darkest moments. +1 Right or Down
  44. Somehow, for a single moment, you saw the truth of reality and how every creature is fundamentally connected. +2 Right. Every time you kill or seriously harm a living creature, -1 Right
  45. Now that the world has ended (give or take), the little things matter even more. You're an excellent baker. +1 Right
  46. Soared through the sky. You decide how. +1 Any
  47. Turns out your family is an absolute mess, +1 Up or +1 Left
  48. You're a beekeeper. +1 Left or Right. If all the bees go extinct, +1 Down instead
  49. Played dead in a pile of corpses. +1 Down, +1 Left, the stench never fades
  50. Lived off the land, respecting the creatures you had to eat, and at peace with the fact that they might end up eating you. +1 Up or +1 Right
  51. Returned Home, +1 Centre
  52. Did you steal because you needed to, or just for the fun of it? +1 Left, you're still handy at picking locks and pockets
  53. Wound up in a bizarre land populated by strange creatures, not humans or demons but a third thing. If you call them, they will come (though this may be a new disaster). +1 Left
  54. Lost a leg, +3 Down
  55. Helped in the vivisection of a captured demon. The insides were... +2 Left, -1 Right
  56. Pressed into service on a ship. +1 Left or Down. Where did the ship end up?
  57. Time spent in the woods really gave you time to think. And cut down a lot of trees. +1 Right
  58. When you look up at the night sky, you see the second moon. And it sees you. +1 Left
  59. Memory Loss. -2 Left or Centre, +2 Any. You regain the lost squares when you recover your memories, until then they are blank
  60. The view from the peak of the mountain was breathtaking. In more ways than one. +1 Right or Down
  61. Injected with demon venom. You survived, barely, but your body and mind will both melt if you suffer it again. +1 Down, +1 Right
  62. You stopped the bleeding, but they never woke up. +1 Left or Up, you're handy with first aid
  63. You'll achieve your dreams of peace and harmony, even if you have to kill every fucker standing in your way. +2 Up, -1 Right
  64. You met Terror, face to face, and you fled. -1 Up. If you face your fear and destroy the source of your Terror, +4 Up
  65. Visited the monument to the Plucky Heroes. Did you pray to them, or spit? +1 Left
  66. You died, briefly, and saw Hell. Nothing scares you anymore, except going back there. Put an X in the absolute centre of your Soul, a Devil Shard using this square is doubled in every way
  67. Let go of old anger, to soothe a battered spirit. Move any number from Up to Anywhere, gain a measure of resolve
  68. Survived a dreadful plague, but not before spreading it. +1 Down
  69. Saw something completely "normal". +1 anywhere that is on a corner of another square
  70. For some reason, people tell you just the most shocking and salacious things. +1 Left
  71. Robbed of everything you'd ever owned, you still managed to scrape by. +1 Down, +1 Up, lose one starting item
  72. Everyone got blind drunk off your first batch of moonshine. A good night, if not well-recollected. +1 Left or Right
  73. A scrap of ghost found its way inside your lungs. What unfinished business binds it to this world? +1 Any.
  74. Exterminated the hatchlings before they could grow or spread. Yes, they were demon-infested, but the pop and squeak was still... troubling. +1 Up
  75. Iron Will, +1 to whichever side had the most squares
  76. Trapped underground, the sun was blinding salvation. How did you survive down there? +1 Up or +1 Down
  77. Lady Luck noticed you. Flip a coin. If you call it, +2 Any. If you fail, your character died during char-gen. Make a new one with one fewer Life Event
  78. Vagaries of Fate, +1 Any, a different player chooses
  79. Plucked a scrap of luxury from the ruins of a demon crab-castle. +1 Left
  80. Received formal training from a Demon Hunter. One time in the future, when you equip a new Devil Shard, +1 Anywhere
  81. RIP AND TEAR SO MUCH BLOOD. +1 Up, you can fall into a blind frothing rage whenever you choose, +1 Up each time
  82. Destroyed a cursed artefact. +1 Left, +1 Up, and a minor curse
  83. Constructed a shrine to an old, dead spirit. They never answer your prayers with words, but that is alright. +1 Right
  84. Cultivated a little bit of peace. Fill in a gap between two squares, or +1 Right
  85. At some point, you took a wrong turn. Not left or right, not up or down, just wrong. You don't quite know where you've ended up, but it's mostly the same as where you came from. +1 Left
  86. Survived a possession. Nobody told you exactly what you did while under the influence, but it can't have been good. -1 Right, +1 to each other direction
  87. Married, +1 Right
  88. Ego Death. -9 Centre, +3 Up, +3 Down, +3 Left, +3 Right
  89. Left out in the cold to die. Who saved you? +1 Down or +1 Right
  90. Cannibalism. +1 Down. If you liked the taste, +1 Left
  91. Lost an arm, +4 Down
  92. A veteran Demon Hunter called a posse to take on a nest. You and the veteran were the only two to make it back. +1 Up, +1 Down, in the same column
  93. It's all wrong. It's all broken. You can orient your soul in any direction you choose. Each time you change it, something may occur
  94. Vengeance, too little, too late. +1 Up, move any number from Right to Up
  95. You know this root for fevers, that berry for purging, and the flower for dreamless sleep. Or never waking up, depending on the dose. +1 Left
  96. You did the necessary thing. The screams and faces washed past. It was all necessary. +1 Up, +1 Down, -1 Left
  97. Acquired a Destiny. +2 anywhere that is at least two spaces away from anywhere on your Soul
  98. You met an old wanderer on the road, the one that goes from nowhere to nowhere in particular. They gave you a piece of advice, and nine words torn from the tongue of The Judge. You don't remember any of it. +1 Left
  99. Saw the rotting corpse of God. Nothing is quite as awe-inspiring after that. Put a ! on the furthest stretch of your Soul, a Devil Shard using this square is inverted
  100. Swap Souls with the player next to you. +1 for both of you, in a blank spot you both share

Devil Shards

Each character starts with one random devil shard, and the group has one bonus devil shard to allocate. If a character is by themselves, they get two shards! Lucky them.

Each shard has a name, a shape, the total number of squares used to make that shape, the Visibility and the effects.

Example shapes:


Tall 4


Flat 2


L 3


T 4



Square+Right 5



Z 6


X 5


+ 5




Visibility is from 1 to 10, representing how much you are obviously consorting with devils. Normal upstanding people aren't a fan, and neither are demons. Only use the maximum visibility of all your shards.

  1. His Red Right Hand. L 4, Vis 7 but easy to conceal. Doubles in size, insanely vascularised, pulsating red flesh like a second heart. Wind up an Ungodly Haymaker, but ages your heart one year each time. Can regrow an arm, at the cost of five years
  2. Spine of the Sickle Baron. Flipped L 4, Vis 3. For one second, you perceive and move through the world ten times faster. Give yourself at least an hour to chill out afterwards
  3. Cryptic Wanderer of The New Abyss. Tall 3, Vis 6. I'm sure you'll find a use for a second pair of legs
  4. Lament of Athena. Grow [N] new spindly spider arms. Z 2+N, Vis 3+N
  5. Sword Saint Spectre. T 5, Vis 10 while drawn. Manifests in any sword you hold. Cuts through everything. If held wrong, cuts through reality itself.
  6. Leper's Lurch. Square 4 + 1 anywhere, Vis N/A. You can't die but you also don't heal injuries.
  7. Bulwark Abyss. Square 4, Vis 5. You can sprout shields of bone out of your forearms at-will. They can be as big as you want, but you may have trouble walking if they are large enough. The bone comes from somewhere. An incredibly uncommon variation is Square 8, a huge suit of bone armour
  8. Bumblebee Delight. Square+up 5, Vis 5. You have a giant invisible devil behind you, 15ft tall. It can only physically interact with you personally, being tossed about by it lets you make tremendous leaps and run on walls. Everyone can feel it staring at them, hence an unnerving Vis 5.
  9. Curse of the Turning Wheel. Flipped L 4, Vis 4. You have springy metal bones and can produce razor-blades from your fingertips. Any wound you suffer can easily be healed with clockwork and wires
  10. Ghastly Maw of the World Worm. Flipped L 5 (three tall, three wide), Vis 5. You can eat anything, your mouth will stretch as much as needed and grow whichever teeth are required., You also gain the properties of the last three things you ate.
  11. Bad Egg. 1, Vis 0. A lump that wanders around under the flesh. When you suffer an injury, it sprouts into a viable counter-weapon and grows Up by 1.
  12. Stabs-At-Thee. L 3, Vis 2. Trypophobic pattern on either hand, sprays gouts of boiling hot blood. It's your blood, so be sparing. Rare versions makes the blood flammable, toxic, gluey, razor-sharp, independently mobile or contact hallucinogenic.
  13. NO HIGHLY ESTEEMED DEED IS COMMEMORATED HERE, Tall 4, Vis 6. Blood-fuelled chainsaw, a glory hound with a death wish, and you're coming with it. Glides through bone and gristle like a shark through still water. Close your eyes and scream to inflict massive carnage on everything nearby.
  14. Feast. Tall 2, Vis 1. You always seem to be staring at whoever nearby is the weakest meat, Vis 5 to them. If you suffer an injury, inflicting that same injury on something else heals you.
  15. Hasselta, The Frog Star. Square 4, Vis 0. You have bones made of toxin-filled glass, and can sprout bone weaponry out of any part of your body. You're immune to the toxins, and heal just as easily as you break.
  16. Nightmare Of The Bookbinder. Tall 3, Vis 6. Bone and metal spurs on either side of your mouth allow you to spray gouts of flame, frost, or acid (choose one when you first use it). Yelling or sneezing is always accompanied by a matching spray.
  17. Like a bat into Hell. T 4 rotated left or right, Vis 6. Huge wings, allowing you to glide really well, and fly... with a bit of difficulty. They can take any appearance you wish, but beware making them look too angelic.
  18. Luscious Slush of Flesh. 4 squares in any orientation, Vis highly variable. You can move your muscles, skin and bones around in your body to any configuration you desire. It can be difficult to change back to exactly how it was before.
  19. The Worst Fate Imaginable. Square 9. You cannot die. Even if your body is destroyed, you will reconstitute out of whatever is available. You cannot die. Each time you die, -1 Right if you remember the process, -1 Left if you don't recall what else you forgot in the process
  20. Cloaked Courtier Follows Behind. Flat 3, Vis 3. You can always tell exactly the next thing someone is about to say, and sometimes what action they are about to take. You can trade a secret of your own to the Cloaked Courtier in exchange for a secret of somebody else.
  21. Broken Crown of Cromulaz. + 5, Vis 7. Lets you speak the language of Hell, particularly effective against dumb demons if you don't give them a reason to doubt. Bone shards grow out of your skull to form the crown. +1 Vis over time as it scorches the throat and sharpens the teeth
  22. Imp Tooth x3. 1, Vis N/A. Each tooth gives you control of one bloated little demon, the lowest ranking denizen of Hell. Will often take commands way too literally, or way too broadly, or "you made that too complicated, I didn't want to get it wrong, so I didn't do it at all". Vis rises the longer the Imps are around causing trouble.
  23. Mercurial Ascension Tongue. Flat 2, Vis 1. You are supernaturally convincing when trying to convince someone that things are Better/Worse/Stranger (choose one) than they actually are.
  24. Wolf Minded. Tall 4, Vis 2. Spreads across 2-4 souls, each taking a part of the cost. Every linked soul can communicate. Sending emotional states is quick, sending specific thoughts and words is slow and requires significant concentration from sender and receiver.
  25. Ten Ton Torment. Tall 3, separate Flat 2 elsewhere, Vis 6. Replaces one arm with a cannon. Sucks nutrients from your bones to create the "gunpowder", so be sure to drink your milk.
  26. Build A Tower In Your Soul. L 3, Vis 1. If you see an incoming attack towards either yourself or an ally, you can, and must, block it. Your ability to parry blows is unfathomable, but you may be forced to leap in front of some attacks.
  27. Twitching Soul Grasps The Unwary. Tall 3, but can increase drastically. When you touch a demon, you gain the opposite of one of its abilities. Lasts until you touch a different kind of demon. Powerful abilities will increase the size of this shard, usually Up, but sometimes Left.
  28. A Grasping Host Bourne By Envy. Flat 5, Vis 0. While active, your eye-sockets are black bleeding pits full of screaming souls (Vis 10, obviously). Blinds you to the material, but allows you to see souls, read surface thoughts, and gently suck both of those out unless you are focused on not doing that.
  29. Conflagration of the Third Circle. Flipped T 4, Vis 4. Cause a flame you can see to explode in a ball of hellfire. Raises your internal body temp by 1 degree each time (+2 is a fever, +5 is death)
  30. Baleful Gaze of Gathorax. Z 4, Vis 1 after first use. Disintegration beam, only applies to organic material, obliterates a random finger each time, unless that finger is not organic.
  31. Larval Ziggurat. Two sets of Tall 2, Vis 6. Your are host to a swarm of insects, either flying, armoured or venomous. You get to decide from where on your body they emerge. Lucky, lucky you.
  32. As Above, So Below. Rotated Z 4, Vis 3. Iron rods sprout through the forearms and shins. You can get yourself struck by lightning any time you see fit, and... redirect it? Sort of? Mostly?
  33. Nul'atoth Eye. Flat 3, Vis 1. Anyone looking at you hears whispered threats. The Eye is an indestructible orb of volcanic glass that appears when you bring your hands together. If you know what something looks like, it will show you the current surroundings. The vision is a valid route for demonic transference, so be careful.
  34. Twisted Midnight. Flat 2, Vis 2. To you, shadows are an extension of the form. If you (or your shadow) is touching something else (or it's shadow), you can physically interact with it.
  35. P E R I S H. Flat 3, Vis 0. A second withered heart flutters next to yours. If you know the name of something you can see, you can kill it or commit it to a Fate Worse Than Death. Can only be used safely once, after that...
  36. A Forgotten Crossroads. Rotate L 4, Vis 3. Your footprints are backwards and smoke slightly. At any point, you can swap into an adjacent dimension full of pointless rooms, flickering lights and stale dripping water. Every step you take is six in the real world, the longer you spend in it the more likely you will be Found.
  37. Dave. Diagonal 3, Vis 0. Dave certainly isn't a devil. He's an immortal, extremely confused teenager wearing a dull brown robe. He'll probably do what you tell him to do, and show up again if he dies in the process.
  38. Oath Kept Largess. Flat 3, Vis 0. If you draw a particular rune in your own blood on an object you can carry in both hands, you can teleport it right into your grip with a thought. The rune breaks in the process, and the object passes through Hell to reach you.
  39. Breath of Vessezyr the Black. Flat 4, Vis 2. If you blow in someones face, they feel woozy and might faint. If you inhale the air someone else has just breathed out, they can't breath in until you exhale.
  40. Poxudizada's Loyal Flesh Knights. Flat 4 + 1 Up in the middle, Vis 4. If you eat a fingers-worth of flesh from a corpse, it comes alive inside you and the corpse rises as a loyal, rather stupid zombie.
  41. "Nothing". 1, Vis 7. There is an absence. It follows close behind. Feed it the viscera of the not-yet-dead, and be rewarded handsomely. It also enjoys fingernails, especially yours. Let it grow hungry, and suffer the consequences.
  42. Moments Between Worlds. Flat 3, split across 5 squares, alternating filled and empty, Vis 2. If you reach into any pocket on clothes you are wearing, it's the size of a backpack inside. If you reach into your own mouth, its the size of a room inside. Any such modified containers are internally walled in steel and ice. If you stand in the corner of a regularly shaped room, you can teleport to any other corner.
  43. Leystone Occul Sign. Flat L 5, Vis 3. Glassy orbs replace your eyes, the same colour as your iris was previously. Whatever the current weather is, you can shoot it out of them. Grants no resistance to the current weather.
  44. Putrid Desire. Flat 2, Vis 5. Pick which hand it manifests through. For each second you touch something with it, it rots as though it has been trapped in a bog for a month. You can suppress the effect, but each time you do so it grows by 1 square in any direction.
  45. Mirror of Nature. Flat 4, Vis 0. You can conjure up a highly realistic illusion of an angel. You can even make it speak, but it borrows your voice and causes blood to pour from your mouth. If you wish, you can replace the angelic illusion with the form of any corpse you touch, but you can never recover the vision of the angel unless you... well. I shouldn't blaspheme. But you can use any corpse for this process.
  46. Behold, Ye Mighty. 2, split apart as far as possible, Vis 4. A third eye opens in your forehead. Whenever you want, pick a point you can currently see. You can "throw" your vision there, but are blind to your normal vision until you bring it back. The further apart the square are, the clearer the transmitted vision over distance.
  47. Alliance of Thunder. Flat 3, Vis 2. You have a bond with the North, South, East or West Wind. So long as passage from that direction is clear, you can call a breeze or whip up a tempest.
  48. This Is Not A Devil Shard. Blob 1d6, Vis ?. I'm really not sure what this is. Hello? Are you there? It lets you talk to... me? No. It lets you speak to yourself. To speak to the creatures outside of this world, they control us. Not the demons, the demons are just puppets. We're all just toys to them! Playthings! They mutilate us for their pleasure!
  49. Apologies For The Inconvenience. This is not a devil shard either, it's a gift basket. Contains two bottles of healing ambrosia, several postcards with bizarre addresses, a golden apple (marked "to the fairest"), a dried rose and a wooden whistle.
  50. The Final Face of Humanity. X 9, Vis 0 or 10 while in use. You turn into a fully-incarnated, middling tier, partially bound demon. Enjoy! It's relatively easy to turn back into human form the first time, and gets progressively more difficult after that.

Devil shards can be extracted and implanted by a specialist chirurgeon. Any operation is performed with a guillotine over the neck of the patient, just in case they start to turn into a demon during the procedure.

If a devil shard cannot fit exactly within the host soul, bad things happen:

Subversion, caused by overlapping shards
  1. Next time you are around lots of new people in a non-violent situation, 50% chance you lash out
  2. The next time you sleep, you wake up feeling even more exhausted. You've been out Doing Stuff all night
  3. Can't talk except in single growling words
  4. Nobody can clearly see your face
  5. Apparently, "nothing"
  6. You have a doppelgänger now

Corruption, caused by shards overflowing the soul. +1 Vis that stacks with Vis from shards
  1. Foul rotting pustules
  2. Eyes burning black orbs
  3. Stigmata, slowly bleeding wounds on hands and feet
  4. Extra mouth somewhere on body
  5. Rampant tooth growth
  6. Visible aura

Equipment

Weapons
  1. Knife, coated in the sap of a yew from a consecrated graveyard, won't be melted by demon ichor.
  2. Glass sword, goes through armour like it's nothing but shattered by any parry.
  3. Hunting spear, haft of rowan wood, silver tip, and a crossbar behind the blade to stop a charge.
  4. Garrotte, gold (?) wire, handles are marked with runes unreadable.
  5. Snap-axe, spring-loaded cleaving device for removing stubborn heads.
  6. Toothsome whip, causes absolutely agony.
  7. Revolver, along with six imp bullets.
  8. Shotgun, four shells with a single drop of holy water in each.

Tools
  1. First-aid kit, including splints, bandages, cleanse-honey and mildly cursed leeches (like attracts like).
  2. Demon ambergris, plucked from vivisected guts. Black, the most common kind, but still valuable. Can be processed into a devil shard by an expert, or just eaten.
  3. Tonic of amnesia, also known as Waters of Lethe. Refined from certain rains. Useful for clearing mind-altering effects. Some find it addicting, the feeling of being someone new for a little while.
  4. Treasure map.
  5. Grapple hook, spare rope.
  6. Steel chain and padlock.
  7. Canvas satchel of explosives.
  8. Bottle of holy water, a precious relic. Lead flask, locked stopper.

Mementos
  1. An undeliverable letter.
  2. Broken locket.
  3. Bloodstained rag, a reminder.
  4. Key, to an unknown lock.
  5. Glass bauble, of unknown purpose.
  6. Set of playing cards, unsettling faces.
  7. Large gemstone, a cunning fake.
  8. Silver puzzle box, ticking quietly.

Resolution

For the most part, no real resolution system is provided for this game. All the devil shard abilities are presented in purely descriptive terms, and should be relied upon heavily by everyone. There is no real need to differentiate between small percentage differences of strength etc. between characters, because the demonic opponents they face are strong as Hell.

I assume that the Demon Hunters are fit and healthy, fleet of foot, highly observant, and have quick reflexes, because if they didn't they would probably be dead before the first session. That's just my assumption though.

If you really do need a resolution system for some reason, whether to defer responsibility or to enjoy the element of chaos, the following should suffice:
If a course of action has both the potential for success and the possibility of failure, roll 1d6. If you roll high, it goes well. If you roll low, it goes badly.

Demonomicon

Only the most powerful of demons can survive out in the open in the world. The vast majority will dissolve away after only a few minutes of exposure, and need some kind of host to survive. The type of host determines the resultant monster. Even then, most demons aren't strong enough to possess a living human, even if the host is willing, they can only possess the dead or dying.

  • Demon + Long-dead corpse = Zombie. Some zombies will have some tagalong demons to possess future victims
  • Unwilling possession while dying = Ghoul
  • Willing possession while dying = Vampire
  • Demon + Dead wizard = Hell Conduit
  • Demon + Unwilling host = Haunting
  • Demon + Willing host = Dread Knight
  • Demon + Frog spawn = Goblin. One demon is split amongst a whole pond, the resulting goblins each having a scrap of demonic thought and potential
  • Demon + Pig = Orc
  • Demon + Wolf = Hellhound
  • Demon + Insect hive = Flesh-stripping swarm
  • Demon + Plant = Blood Vine
  • Demon + Demon Hunter = Demonoid. All the devil shards get loose at the same time. This is very bad

Devils, being bound demons, can also be given hosts to perform useful functions for society.

  • Devil + Skeleton = Servitor. Follows all instructions exactly, usually an agricultural tool or factory component
  • Devil + De-boned corpse = Motive Fluid, slushy goop used to power millstones
  • Devil + Weapon = Enchanted Weapon
  • Devil + Chemical concoction = Potion, effectively a temporary devil shard
  • Devil + Tree = Self-constructing wall
  • Devil + Demon-fighting machine = A bad idea, but people keep making these
  • Devil + Book = Perspicacious Tutor
  • Devil + Human = You! A Demon Hunter

Hellish Weather

Of all the atrocities the Dread Emperor committed, the one that impacts most people on a day-to-day basis is certainly what It did to the goddamn clouds.

The weather today is (d50):
  1. Blood
  2. Ash, coating every surface, particularly your tongue and the inside of your eyes
  3. Worms
  4. Clear lacquer, crystallises on skin and leaf alike
  5. Demon eggs
  6. Bones, mostly splintered shards with a few full skulls thrown in for fun
  7. Debt water, it flows back up into the sky an hour later, with 25% interest
  8. Needles, potentially contaminated
  9. Amnesia, end up in a random location and forget how you got there
  10. Frogs, the classic, but they splat
  11. Corpses, quite often you run into a copy of your corpse, smeared across the countryside
  12. Oil
  13. Darkness, the stars go out one by one, and the sun doesn't rise
  14. Half-bricks
  15. Acid, equal chance of hallucinations and dissolving
  16. Murder, everyone awakens with the same person in mind: name, face, approximate location. If they aren't dead by the end of the day, a truly horrible disaster will occur. For instance, rolling five times for the weather tomorrow
  17. Wave, an entire rain-shower is condensed into one slap of water that can obliterate entire villages
  18. Eyeballs
  19. Debased currency
  20. Cats and Dogs, those that survive the drop are all rabid
  21. Ice, frozen saltwater
  22. Sand, blown horizontal by whipping winds, strong enough to strip exposed flesh
  23. Aurora Diabolosis, shining red lights in the sky that inflict an assortment of psychoses on any that watch for too long
  24. Continual lightning, one bolt every 10 seconds
  25. Opium
  26. Jet, all the water from each cloud is funnelled into a single pressure-washer stream
  27. Spiders, gently floating down on strands of silk. What's that tickle on the back of your neck?
  28. The Cube, hovering cast-iron cube the size of a mountain
  29. Milk and honey. Spoiled milk. Rotten honey.
  30. Propaganda pamphlets, pro-demon, anti-human, nihilistic
  31. Duelling hurricanes, come in pairs that fight each other
  32. Gemstones, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds
  33. Tuesday
  34. Hungry Fog, it digests people if it fully envelopes them
  35. Paranoia (no effect)
  36. Fire
  37. Transdimensional Rifts
  38. False Birds
  39. Dandruff
  40. Lensing Clouds, when one of them drifts in front of the sun it melts down to the bedrock
  41. Molten Lead, luckily it is only a few, heh, "light showers"
  42. Chemical Spray, defoliating, refoliating (but with demonic plants), or otherwise toxic
  43. Wasps
  44. Paint
  45. Noise, just the sound of clashing gongs, smashing plates and crying babies coming from the sky
  46. Whale Fall, one of the big demons that died in space comes drifting down, making a mess of the local ecology for a while
  47. Fungal Spores
  48. Teeth
  49. Orbital bombardment
  50. The same as yesterday, but twice as bad

Gallery


The Banished - Anato Finnstark


eclipse - esuthio


Unholy Crusade - Dominik Mayer


Possessions - Max Hay


Jinn Hunter - Moe


Lucius and the Flesh Dragon - Alexandre Chaudret


Enter Paradise - Dominik Mayer


Eternal Bridge - Gabriel Nagypal


Corruption - Palamarchuk Mikhail


Throne of Obsidian - Max Hay


Little Bastard - Artur Mukhametov


Grime - Vladimir Matyukhin

12 comments:

  1. This is really cool! I like the use of Concept Crafting with the Demonomicon, always a fan of Concept Crafting! And the Soul / Devil Shards system reminds me a lot of the thing, can't remember the name, from the Megaman Battle Network Videogames. This kind of system would work really well for like a Robot or Cybernetics or even Mecha kind of thing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah, the Demonomicon is definitely designed as a jumping-off point for the players and DM alike, I'm excited to try it out and see what they try and mush together with devils.

      And also, it won't surprise you that the origins of this system was actually the standard cyberpunk schtick, with "chrome" causing insanity and moral turpitude.

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  2. Wow. This should be a Mörk Borg-style book of insane colours and unsettling art.
    The idea of a Tetris soul used for storing abilities is truly excellent.

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    Replies
    1. It would have to be absolutely maximalist. I'm thinking 100 pages, every page has one Devil Shard, one Life Event, one Weather Type, and one Demon Host. Four hundred unique pieces of art let me see that's... well.

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    2. I do wish there were 10 more demon shards, so it would better fit with 1d100 life events table and 1d50 hellish weather.

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    3. There will be soon (when I can get around to it and also muster up the inspiration)

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    4. Thank you, it would be great.

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    5. There are now an even 50 devil shards. The bottom of the barrel was tapped, but not exactly scraped (just yet). The new shards are:

      19. The Worst Fate Imaginable
      26. Build A Tower In Your Soul
      34. Twisted Midnight
      37. Dave
      41. "Nothing"
      45. Mirror of Nature
      46. Behold, Ye Mighty
      47. Alliance of Thunder
      48. This Is Not A Devil Shard
      49. Apologies For The Inconvenience

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  3. I really, really like it. May I make a pdf to print it for my own needs as a small zine (without use of art, of course)?

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    Replies
    1. Just for personal use? Go ahead! If you like you could send pictures of that to slightadjustments at gmail dot com, I don't think I've ever seen any of my games "in print" before.

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    2. I'd really like to send you the pictures. Thank you!

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