Friday, March 8, 2013

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 3

Image source, but I have this figure too. 
An update to my Part 1 and Part 2 of my Sympathy for the Succubus.  Been reading a bunch on the Succubus and how she fits into the D&D game specifically. She has an odd place really.  A sex-demon in a game that downplays sex in favor of violence.

Ecology of the Succubus
The succubus can play the ultimate temptress. Typically we see the succubus as an agent of power in the game and that is certainly true for the latest edition. For D&D 4, we have the Ecology of the Succubus and the authors' blog, http://stevesgamerblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/fallen-angels-ecology-of-succubus.html.

There is another the Ecology of the Succubus from the late lamented Kobold Quarterly Magazine #21.
For 4th edition.  This article is by Sersa Victory and feels slightly longer (hard to say given the different formats), but there is a still a lot of useful material here regardless of the game you are playing.

They both used similar elements tot he succubi I have presented here in my blog and in Eldritch Witchery.  No big surprise there, we are all drawing from the same myths and legends. Both try to do some mental gymnastics to cover the change of succubi from demons to devils. Both work rather well, but I took a different approach myself.

For Pathfinder there is Mythic Menagerie: Demonic Harlots
Six new sub-types of Succubi for your Pathfinder/OGL game. Plus new magic, feats and plot devices for using succubi in your games. No rules for Succubi PCs, but nearly everything else is here.

For D&D 5, it looks like Succubus might be headed back to being demons.

Good Succubi
Succubi have always been a favorite of many gamers.  So it is no surprise that every so often we get a "Good" Succubus.  From D&D 3 we had Eludecia, the Succubus Paladin.  I liked her story and wish WotC had done some more with her. This link for example makes her a Paladin of Heironeous. She appeared in the adventure, Legend of the Silver Skeleton. I would use her as something like a Kwai Chang Caine character.  Roaming the lands, maybe incognito, trying to do the most good she can.

Nobility and Eros: The Noble Succubus
Love is a disease.  At least that is how the succubi might feel if you use this supplement in your OGL games.  The Noble Succubus (not 100% sold on that name, but it does work and I can't come up with anything better) is a succubus that has become infected.  She is no longer a demon, but a creature with a soul that feels.  In a sense a "good" (if chaotic) succubus.  The role-playing options here abound.
There is plenty of background information that can be used and plenty of hooks into various game worlds including modern, sci-fi and the standard fantasy.
The real meat though is in the crunch on what the differences between the Noble and Demonic Succubi and how to use Noble Succubi as characters.

Myself I would make them much rarer, and still have it be a process that maybe one in 100 Billion succubi could go through.  I also think it would be interesting to have a Noble Succubus and for whatever reason choose to remain evil.  That would be an adversary worth having.

Succubi and their Kin
I have also been doing a lot of generic demon research lately.
101 Greater Demons to Summon
101 Lesser Demons to Summon
101 Names of the Devil

For a buck you get a list of 100 demons. There is a name and description. Culled from a variety of sources such as the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum and others.
It also has tables for various demon aspects and motivations. The information here can be found elsewhere, but for a buck you are getting it all in one place and formatted. Can be used with any game that has demons. There are no stats and nothing in the way of measure the power of one demon to the next, but that is not what they are advertising here.  Great if you need new, random demons.

One of the great things about working on so many projects it has given me the chance to recast the demons as I like.    I am very excited to get some of the things I am working on into your hands and I hope you enjoy them too.

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 1
Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 2

2 comments:

Cygnus said...

Nice summary! I'm sure that my own take on humanizing them a bit wasn't brand new, but it was fun.

alzrius said...

"A sex-demon in a game that downplays sex in favor of violence."

That's pretty much it, right there. I've blogged about this particular topic before, but ultimately the game gives a standardized, easy-to-predict framework for rewarding violence, but nothing else.

Yes, you can gain XP for story awards, but there's no predicting when that'll happen, or how big the awards are. When players know that they can gain XP for killing monsters, and oftentimes how much, that's where they'll tilt.

While some players will be able to role-play a sexual temptation for their characters, most are going to scoff at the beautiful woman trying to lure them into a sexual encounter, instead going off to trek through a godsforsaken wilderness in hopes of finding a magic sword.

The game won't, and can't, fix this until there's some sort of reward mechanic for sex (or some broader context that includes sex), but nobody seems to want that.

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