Wednesday, May 16, 2012

V&V Vednesday: Demons

For as long as mankind has existed, demons have walked the Earth.

Fortunately, their numbers on the Earthly plane at any given has been relatively small.  Only a handful of demons have the ability to traverse the planes at will; most only appear in our reality if summoned by one with magical skill, or during those thankfully rare occasions when the barriers between the Earthly plane and the hellish dimensions are weaker than usual.

It is said that no two demons are alike, which can make dealing with them problematic.  It can also be problematic for the GM, especially if he or she needs to come up with a suitable demonic foe at short notice. The following charts can help when an 'instant demon' is needed.

Roll 3d6 for each of the basic characteristics as for any NPC.  Level is determined randomly as per section 4.3.C of the V&V rulebook, then halved (round up),with the minimum level being 4th.   Add training bonuses to characteristics as per section 4.3.D, either ignoring results of 6 (i.e. don't bother with Inventing rolls), or treating any Inventing rolls as a chance for the demon to acquire some sort of magical spell/ritual.

All demons get the following powers: Adaptation, Heightened Physicality (+1d10 each to Strength, Endurance, and Agility), and Heightened Senses: Detect Magic (range is a radius equal to the demon's INT in game inches).

Next, roll a d12 to determine which Animal Powers the demon has (this also determines their basic appearance).  A roll of 1 does not give plant-based powers, but instead allows the demon to re-roll twice, indicating that the demon's appearance (and abilities) is a hybrid of two different animal forms.  A roll of 8 or 10 does not grant one-celled or lower class animal abilities, but rather indicates that demon is human (or at least humanoid) in form - they gain no animal powers for this, but have a chance (1-3 on d6) of instead having Transformation C (Disguise).  All other rolls grant 1d6 species-based abilities, as per usual for Animal Powers (if the demon has two different animal forms, it still only gains 1d6 species powers, but can choose the more beneficial or desirable roll from the two different tables).

After that, determine the demon's defensive abilities, by rolling a d8:

1. n/a
2-3. Armor
4. Heightened Defense 
5-6. Invulnerability
7. Non-coporealness
8. Regeneration

Each demon also gets a chance at some movement-based powers (roll d6):

1. n/a
2. Dimension Travel (type 1)
3. Teleportation
4-6. Wings

If Dimension Travel is rolled, a second roll is made to see if any other transport powers are possessed (re-rolling Dimension Travel means no further travel abilities).  If the demon does not possess Dimension Travel, then that usually means that it has been summoned by others.  Wings are usually of the bat-like variety, but if the demon is otherwise human in appearance, they with be more feathery/bird-like.

After that, roll a d12 to give the demon a noticeable physical trait:

1. n/a
2. Body power - extra limbs (+4 to HTH attacks)
3. Body power - prehensile tail
4. Heightened Endurance B
5. Heightened Senses
6. Heightened Strength B
7-8. Natural Weaponry (claws)
9. Poison/venom
10-11. Size change, larger
12. Size change, smaller

A demon with the poison/venom ability will also have natural weaponry/claws (if not already possessed through the demon's animal abilities) at the minimum rating (+1 to hit, +2 to damage).  Both size change abilities are permanent/always on, and are at the minimum rating respectively (x1.5 height for larger, 1/2 height for smaller).

Next, roll a d12 to give the demon some unusual ability:

1. n/a
2. Chemical Power
3. Darkness Control
4. Death Touch
5. Emotion Control
6-7. Flame Power (option one)
8. Heightened Attack
9. Heightened Charisma B
10. Heightened Expertise
11. Illusions (type A, all senses)
12. Lightning Control

Chemical power does not change the demon's body, but does allow it to emit noxious fumes/vapors as an attack.  Emotion Control is usually fear-based, but if the demon is humanoid in appearance, it may be based on lust instead...

Almost done!  Each demon has a 1 in 10 chance of carrying a weapon of some sort.  If the demon is armed (and already dangerous), roll a d6 to determine the type of weapon:

1-2. Sword
3-4. Battle Axe
5. Spear
6. Whip (+1 to hit, HTH + 1d4 damage)

All demon weapons are more powerful than their normal earthly counterparts, imbued as they are with negative energies.  If the demon is small, damage is normal (despite the weapon being smaller than normal).  If the demon is human-sized, add an extra +1 to hit to the weapon, and bump up the damage to the next die type (a d4 becomes a d6, a d6 becomes a d8, etc).  Weapons wielded by large demons have an extra +2 to hit, and the damage die is bumped up twice (a d4 becomes a d8).  Also, there is a chance that the weapon has 1-3 powers, determined on the magic/psionic items chart in section 2.5 of the rulebook.  Roll a d20 and compare to the demon's level.  A natural 1 indicated the weapon has 3 powers, a roll equal to or below half the demon's level indicates it has two powers, and a roll equal to or below the demon's level means it has one power.  For example, if a weapon-wielding demon is 7th level, a roll of 8-20 means the weapon has no extra abilities, a a 4-7 means the weapon has one extra ability, a 2-3 means two abilities, and a 1 means three abilities for the weapon in question.  Such weapons invariably corrupt their users, and obviously are not recommended for superhero use (of course, a misplaced demon weapon can essentially result in the creation of a new supervillain!).

Obviously, these demons are fell foes, and can prove dangerous to even experienced superheroes.   Fortunately, demons also have several Weaknesses, many of which are well known.  A splash of holy water does 2d8 damage to demons (treat as a Chemical Power attack); actual immersion in a fountain of holy water means instant destruction for all but the greatest of demon lords (if you really feel like rolling, treat the damage as per a medium nuclear bomb). Silver weapons do double damage to demons, and no demon will willingly abide its touch.  Bright sunlight is also repellant to demons; simply standing under the sun's rays does 1 point of damage to the demon per combat turn (the demon can 'roll with the blow', so this usually comes off of Power instead of Hit Points), and if a Light Control attack is sunlight-based, then the demon takes double damage.  In all of these cases, Armor and Invulnerability does not protect the demon, and Regeneration will not heal the wounds created by these attacks.  Also, demons are susceptible to summonings, banishings, and wardings such as some occultists and holy men are capable of casting.  Obviously, demons hate having their actions dictated by mere mortals, and will seek to bypass whatever control that the caster can manage. 

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