Showing posts with label demon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demon. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Bulbbul (2020)

Bulbbul (2020)
I have not watched many films from India despite my enjoyment of many of their action films. So tonight was another choice by my wife (who also loves the all-singing and all-dancing Bollywood movies). 

Bulbbul (2020)

Bulbbul is a child bride in the Bengal Presidency, India in 1881. She thinks her husband-to-be is Satya, but instead it is his much older brother Indranil. Over the next 20 years they grow up Bulbbul becomes much closer to Satya.  So close that Indranil arranges to send Satya to London.  

Much of the movie is given in various flashbacks. We see Satya telling Bulbbul a story about a demon-woman witch (a Churel or Chudail) who lives in the trees and kills men. Her most notable feature is her feet; they are on backward. They spend the next few years writing the story out. Satya leaves for London early causing Bulbbul to get upset and burn her story. Her husband finds the partially burn book but only sees "Satya and Bulbbul" not realizing that it was both their names as authors.  Indranil goes to Bulbbul who is bathing, he pulls her out of the tub where he beats her with a fireplace poker. We don't see anything but blood.

He beats so bad that her legs are broken and her feet are deformed.  While she is in bed with her legs trussed up to heal. Shamed, Indranil leaves the manor and leaves his twin's wife Binodini in charge. His twin, Mahendra, is also mentally challenged.  While essentially tied down Mahendra comes to her room and rapes her.  Later Binodini cleaning Bulbbul up tells her that she is in a very rich family and she should just keep quiet and everything will be fine.

Back to the present Satya has returned home to discover that Mahendra is dead, Binodini is living in one of the smaller houses on the manor property and previously shy Bulbbul is the undisputed Lady of the house.  Meanwhile men in the local village are all being killed. Satya thinks it is some sort of animal, the villagers say it is the Witch.

Satya decides, because he went to Law School in London I guess, to investigate on his own.  After he finds the body of a man in a tree he decides that it must be a man doing the killing. When asked by Bulbbul "why not a woman?" he laughs her off. 

Satya begins to suspect Dr. Sudip who has been at every man's home recently.  He takes him at gunpoint to arrest him. Sudip isn't worried and is quite blasé about it. Satya says the only way he will be seen as innocent if there really is a witch. At that point, there is a thud, and the carriage stops.  Satya finds the driver dead. Satya tells the Doctor he is innocent because the witch is real and he is going to kill the witch. The Doctor tries to stop him (knowing who the witch is). Satya and the Doctor fight and in the process start a fire with their torches.  Satya runs into the forest, following the same paths he and Bulbbul did as children and he realizes that it is Bulbbul doing all the killings.

We now see (here and in flashbacks) that it is Bulbbul killing all the men. Each one had done something to harm a woman; the husband who broke his wife's bones, the husband who took a younger second wife and the first killed herself, the older man raping little girls and also Mahendra. She uses her mutilated feet to run in the treetops like the Churel in the stories. By now the fire has engulfed the forest and Bulbbul is trapped up a tree. Staya leaves.

Sometime later Indranil returns to his now deserted manor. He is lying in bed alone when he sees a cloud of smoke. The smoke solidifies into a burning figure that becomes Bulbbul.

--

Ok! This one was a lot of fun and completely unexpected. Great choice.


October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 39
First Time Views: 29

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Enter the Devil (1974)

Enter the Devil (1974)
1974 is a sweet spot for cheesy Italian Giallo horror. I don't think I have seen them all, but I have seen a lot.  

This one is also known as "L'ossessa" and "The Eerie Midnight Horror Show" (complete with Rocky Horror-style lips) it revolves around a religious statue of crucified Jesus purchased by Danila (Stella Carnacina). Luisa (Lucretia Love) It is obvious from the start that the "statue" is an actor (Ivan Rassimov) in heavy makeup but that is fine.

It is 1974, so the Exorcist is on EVERY Horror filmmaker's mind and this movie is no exception. 

Danila is some sort of art expert so she is working with the statue.  But while at a party she watches her mother,  in some sort of S&M affair with a younger man she leaves to go back to work. There she is all alone with the statue.  When he starts to move it is no surprise, but I wonder what the audiences in 1974 thought?  Likely they saw the same things we do now.   Eventually, the statue transforms into a human and in one stroke rips off ALL of Danila's clothes (neat trick that) they have very enthusiastic sex while the place burns...or not. It could all be in Danila's mind.  But she does keep experiencing things and no one believes her.   

Naturally, she is possessed and tries to seduce her own father. They bring over a psychiatrist whose professional opinion is that she is unduly affected by her work. They head out to the country ("Better than any medicine" according to the medical professional) but they get a flat and Danila wanders off into an "Etruscan temple to Baal" where she sees an ancient ceremony to Satan.  In mid-hallucination, she is back in her own bed again freaking out. When the doctor examines her she does have the stigmata wounds inflicted on her in her hallucination.

I give the movie credit, they try really hard to make this a serious movie about an exorcism.  They get a priest in and I can't help but notice her room is set up similar to Regan's in The Exorcist.

The later half is basically Danila going crazy and various priests trying to exorcise her and it sorta falls apart here. 

Still, a neat idea even if not executed as well as the filmmaker might have liked.

Use for War of the Witch Queens

I love the idea of the old statue coming to life and the "Etruscan temple to Baal" just screams Orcus to me for D&D use.

Use for NIGHT SHIFT

All I could think of while watching this one was I need to figure out a way to do a psychiatrist or psychologist in NIGHT SHIFT.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 5
First Time Views: 4

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Introducing the Demon Lord Akelarre!

I was going to wait until this was painted or until I worked up some more stats for him, but the truth is I am just too excited. So here is the newest 3d print fresh off our resin printer!

Demon Lord Akelarre

When painted he will look like this: 

Demon Lord Akelarre

I made him on Hero Forge, downloaded the STL, my youngest printed him out, and with a bit of luck, I'll get my wife to paint him! 

He is based on the various Demon-Goat creatures, mostly featured in the witch sabbat paintings of Francisco Goya.

Goya

Goya

Akelarre is the Basque word (where Goya is from) for a Witches' Sabbath.  The name of both of these paintings from Goya is "Akelarre."

I wanted a new demon lord, one associated with evil witches. The role in my games in the past has largely been filled by Graz'zt. But I wanted someone I had more creative control over. I also wanted someone that was also like Éliphas Lévi's Baphomet.  He will serve as the witches' "Dark Man" as mentioned in many witchcraft trials. In Europe that was always considered to be the Devil or a at the very least a high-level demon.  Well...here he is!

Before I get too deep into his history and background I want to share this print. 

AkelarreAkelarre

Akelarre

The mini is depicted as 20 ft tall, so the Akelarre himself would be 15 ft tall. So smaller than say Demogorgon in AD&D 1st ed and about the size of Orcus.

Given the work my wife did on Gog and Magog, I am really looking forward to seeing what she does with this guy.

Now...what will be done first? My wife painting him or me getting his stats done!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

One Man's God: Castles & Crusades Gods & Legends

Castles & Crusades Gods & Legends
A couple weeks back I posted a One Man's God using the AD&D 2nd Edition Legends & Lore.  I mentioned at the time that this falls outside of the scope of the original concept of my OMG posts; that is can I take creatures from the Deities & Demigods and re-classify them as AD&D 1st Edition demons. Not historical demons, not mythological demons, but 1st Edition demons.

Since I have spent this week discussing Castles & Crusades I have often talked about how this game is the spiritual successor to AD&D.  Do their books on gods also follow?  Or to be more precise, can I do a One Man's God post on the C&C god books?

When it comes to discussing gods, demigods, and heroes Castles & Crusades is really second to none here. There Codex series, written by Brian Young, is some of the best-researched material for an RPG ever produced.   

Gods and Demons in Castles & Crusades

You are not going to find stats for gods in C&C.  They are not meant to be fought. There are however plenty of gods to encounter. I covered many of these in the various Codex books by Brian Young.

There is also the Gods & Legends book which I'll cover here and use as my basis for this One Man's God.  

Demons are well covered in the Tome of the Unclean from Troll Lords.  Tome of the Unclean follows pretty close to the AD&D standard demon with what I often refer to as "the Usual Suspects," so all the "Type" demons and succubi.  So while I could more properly compare the C&C gods to the proper C&C demons, I think everything is close enough that I can continue with my original purpose of comparing these gods to the AD&D demons.  If there are any differences they are so minor as not to be an issue.  Besides. These are gods and demons we are talking about, there will always be exceptions to the rules.

Gods & Legends

For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG. 

PDF. 144 pages. Color covers, black & white interior art. Bookmarked and hyperlinked.  Written by Davis Chenault with contributions by Steven Chenault, Brian Young, Jason Vey, and Todd Gray.

This book largely replaces the Of Gods & Monsters book from a few years back, though it is smaller in size, 144 pages vs 162. I say replaces, but this is a new set of work. The original Of Gods and Monsters was written by James Ward of Deities & Demigods fame.  There are similar gods in both books but this new version is a rewrite of the older work with new entires to work better with the Codex series.

This book is divided into three(ish) large sections.

The Anvil of the Gods

This section covers how gods work in a Castles & Crusades game, how the Castle Keeper can play them, and how the characters can relate to them. This section also gives advice on designing a pantheon. Unlike the original Deities & Demigods that seemed to want to shy away from religion, this book acknowledges it and all the myriad combinations (within the space of this book) religions can take.  The focus here though is not a religious academic text (and Troll Lords has at least two people, Young and Vey, on staff with graduate degrees in religious studies, literature, and history) but more on how these manifest and work in an RPG, and in Castles & Crusades in particular. To this end there is advice on how to run and play gods and how they should interact with the PCs. 

Common deific abilities are defined with Greater, Lesser, and Demi-god statuses. Details are given to how the gods relate to the clerics and paladin classes, alignments, and other archetypes.  Holy symbols and characters with divine traits are also covered. Divine traits include the healing touch.

Of the Gods

This is the largest section of the book, detail-wise. This covers what could properly be called the Gods of Aihrde, the Castles & Crusades campaign world.  A brief overview of the basic deity characteristics is first. Up first are the human gods of Aihrde. This is the section that is most like the older Of Gods and Monsters book.

Gods of Aihrde

Some sections are the same as in the older book, many do look to be rewritten.  The art is used from the older text but I do not see an issue with that. Many gods here get more text as well.  Many of the Aihrde gods take cues and ideas from Earth gods. This is also not a big deal and in fact no different than the gods of the Forgotten Realms. In fact I am going to go out on a limb here and say the process to create these gods (from the Chenault home games no doubt) was very similar to what Ed himself did when he created the Forgotten Realms Gods.  Maybe one day I need to go through this pantheon and the Forgotten Realms ones and see what gods they have in common.  The obvious "Earth" gods are the All Father (Odin), The moon sisters (Diana, Artemis), Frafnog (Fáfnir, Midgard Serpent), Tefnut, Toth, Unklar (Chernbog), and Wenafar (Titania).  Again, I like seeing this stuff. It immediately gives me a hook.  If Frafnog is the god of dragons and there is a Fáfnir connection beyond the surface then there is a great reason why dwarves hate dragons more than just the Hobbit connection (which is of course drawn from the story of Fáfnir and The Ring of the Nibelung). There is deep religious animosity here. Is this what the Chenaults do in their home game? No idea, but this is what is happening in mine.

Following humans, we get the gods of the Dwarves, Elves, Halflings (LOVE the art of the halfling gods!), Gnomes, and then the humanoids (bugbears, gnolls, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, lizardmen, giants, ogres, and trolls) there are even dragon deities, fey deities, and gods of mermen and sahuagin.  It is a wide variety and shows some original ideas beyond what we typically think of in the Deities and Demigods, but not quite the level of detail as found in the very focused Forgotten Realms Demihuman Deities book.

All the Other Gods

This "section" is actually many sections, but they are mostly the same format. They cover the various gods and pantheons found in our world and are covered in detail by the Codex series.  Where the Codecies give us a lot of details on the myths and stories of those pantheons, this section just covers game based stats. No stats as in hp and AC, but alignments, worshipers, granted attributes, preferred weapons and the like.  No details on the gods themselves, for that you will need the Codies.

Covered are the gods of the Celts, Greeks, Egyptians, Germans, Norse, and Slavs.

Who should buy this book?  Anyone playing Castles & Crusades and wants to go deep into the mythologies of Aihrde.  Also, anyone that owns the Codies and wants more game content. 

I also say this is a good book for the AD&D (first or second eds.) player/game master that wants a bit more detail on the gods in their Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore books. Or who just want a different set of or more gods than they currently have.  Indeed the title of the book, Gods & Legends, seems to state that it is a book with the AD&D books in mind.

One Man's God - The Demons of Aihrde

As I mentioned the Demons of Aihrde are already the Demons of AD&D.  But what about the monsters and gods here in Gods & Legends?  Let's see what we have here.

The obvious choices will be the Lesser Gods and the Demigods in terms of the power level near that of the Demon Princes. But I am not going to ignore the odd Greater God if they fit.

For the Aihrde human gods, Frafnog might fit the bill, though he is really powerful. Onduhl is the god of evil beings and has a strong Lucifer or Loki vibe to him.  Unklar looks like a demon and has the Chernobog connection I mentioned above, but he seems more devil-like than demon-like. 

The gods of the Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes do not have anyone.  The Elves have Talahnatilia but that is something other than a demon or devil really. 

It is not really to we get to the gods of the humanoids that we find good candidates.

Jarga the Bloodless is worshiped by many humanoid types (gnolls, kobolds, orcs). He is a lesser god and chaotic evil. He is a god of blood and battle. He might or might not be a demon, but he will certainly has their hatred of life. His plane is listed as The Wretched Plains, one of only three gods to claim this plane. 

Bugbear gods here are Chaotic Evil. Hobgoblin gods are mostly Lawful Evil.  This detail tracks with my own personal use of them. Bugbears are goblins with demonic ancestry and Hobgoblins are goblins with diabolic ancestry. So. If I am searching for demons I am going to look towards the Bugbears first. The bugbear gods are both greater gods and don't really fit the AD&D notion of demons. Same is true for the hobgoblins.

Gnolls have been long associated with demons in AD&D through Yeenoghu. Most of these gods are either too powerful (Greater) and/or Lawful Evil.  Here is one of the issues of trying to apply the "rules" of one game on to another. They don't have to follow the same logic or premises. 

Among the Goblins, Beerkzurd could be a demon, a powerful on to be sure. He is Lawful Evil, but he feels more Chaotic Evil really.  He is also one of those gods people pray to not so much to get boons from him, but in order for him to leave you alone.

The Orc gods are quite war-like and many are Lawful Evil. They mostly seem like larger, more powerful versions of orcs. Which I guess can be said about most gods. They are just larger more powerful versions of the people that worship them.

Vasser of Lizardmen is another good choice. Lesser God, chaotic evil, looks like a demon. The same is all true for Grudznar of the Kobolds and Barg of the Trolls. In fact, all three do feel very demon-like. The lack of proper stats are really the only thing keeping me from deciding a definitive yes or no.  Barg though is such an interesting being in a demented sort of way. I wish I had knew of him during my Troll Week a while back.

I am not considering the Dragon gods. They are really their own thing and many listed here do not fit the idea of a demon well. Yeah...I know I have both Tiâmat and Leviathan as eodemons. Plus I mentioned Frafnog above as a potential demon.

Same with the Fey. They are really their own thing. Though in my personal campaign the Fey do war against the demons. So it could be possible a "fallen fey" is a demon (fits what history did to them in our world).  Not an evil fey. A "good" faerie still has more in common with an evil faerie than they do a demon.

Flathin of the Sahuagin also is a good choice as a demon. If we take the myths of Flathin and his sister Trimon it could be that Flathin was "cast down" as the patron of mermen and now is the patron of their evil counterparts, the Sahuagin. He is a chaotic evil lesser god and looks like a giant octopus with 10 tentacles (a decapus?). He grants little to his followers, save for what they get at their religious/war ceremonies.  

Again. I might be extending my One Man's God to the point of breaking.  Let this be a lesson in how scope creep or extending your theories beyond your testable hypotheses is a bad thing.

Other gods from Earth mythologies have been covered in previous postings of One Man's God.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Monstrous Mondays: Die Hüne

David faces Goliath in this 1888 lithograph by Osmar Schindler
Today I want to delve a bit more into an idea I had been playing around with a little while ago, the combined pantheon of Greek and Norse mythos into a Roman-Norse syncretism. Both groups have many common features, but one that sticks out is the use of a race of giants that predate the gods that represent the forces of chaos.

In my syncretized myths these creatures are called Die Hüne, (plural. Singular: Der Hüne).  This is what I said about them before:

Die Hüne are the Titans and the Giants of both myths. Primordial beings of great power that the gods defeated but still trouble them. In this myth, the Gods fought Die Hüne and brought order out of chaos. These are not just giants and titans, these creatures are the demons of this mythology.

In my mind, they are something of a combination of giant, elemental, and demon. The Gigantes of Greek myth (not AD&D) were more monstrous creatures.  The jötunn of Norse myth likewise were more demonic. As time goes on these titans and jötunn become more and more human-looking till we have something like the giants of D&D. 

My goal with Der Hüne is to get back to those older, more monstrous giants. Given that this mythology is half-Roman, these people will have been familiar with some of the tales of Goliath, the Anakim, and others from Jewish mythology.  So maybe some of those tales entered into their thinking.

Here is how they will be used in my various D&D/OSR/FRPG games.

The giants Fafner and Fasolt seize Freyja in Arthur Rackham's illustration of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Erde Hüne

These creatures are also known as Earth Giants.  They are the forebearers of the Hill, Mountain, and Stone giants as well as ogres.  They stand 12 ft tall and are said to have bones made of stone.

These creatures are Chaotic Evil and have the most dealings with humans. While some certainly are stupid brutes, others are sufficiently intelligent and sophisticated enough to lead human armies. They have a taste for human flesh; both in the culinary and carnal appetites. There are some very tall, very evil humans that can trace their ancestry to one of these creatures.  We get the word "Hun" from "Hüne."

Note: These take the role of the "evil giants in the bibles and other tales" giants like the Anakim.  Though I covered some of this ground with Gog and Magog. I had Gog and Magog as a type of Balor or Baalor in my games.  Maybe I could turn up the demonic influences on them and make Gog and Magog the named Erde Hüne.  Balor are also 12' tall.  The myths about Gog and Magog certainly have them more human-looking. This would also bring them closer to the Ogre idea I originally had.  Worth thinking over to be sure and it would give me the demonic influences I want. 

I think just to be "that guy" I am going to make them 13' tall.

Meer Hüne

These giants are found in the oceans to the far north. They are related to the Frost and Sea giants. They are not the progenitors of these creatures but are the offspring of the Rime Jötunn along with the Frost Giants. Sea Giants are the offspring of the Meer Hüne.  

These creatures avoid humans but are no less evil. They have been known to wreck ships where they keep all the treasure and eat the humans aboard. In my myths, they would also be the forebearers of the Viking raiders that would swoop down and raid the villages of these people. 

Note: On Earth, these giants populate the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. In my desire to have my cake and eat it too I would picture these guys looking like the stereotypical Vikings. Including "Hägar the Horrible" horned helmets, though no idea how they make such helms. 

Feuer Hüne

These creatures are made of pure living fire.  They are the generation after the Inferno Jötunn and the "older brothers" to the Fire Giants.

Note: Right now these creatures are not significantly different enough from either the Fire Giants or the Inferno Jötunn to merit another distinct monster entry.  

Äther Hüne

These creatures are massive with some towering as high as 36 feet tall. It is said their bones are made of clouds and their muscles are made of storms.  They are the progenitors of the Cloud, Storm, and Fog giants. 

Note: This is my "Jack and the Beanstalk" Giant (though in truth an evil Cloud Giant covers that readily). 

Though anytime I work on giants this image comes to mind.

giants

This image comes from the Creationist idea that there were giants in biblical times. This speculation all grows out of Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days", meaning the fallen angels or Nephelim or whatever.  I spent a lot of time talking about this on my old Atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief

Here is how I use that image above.  These are closer to AD&D heights than D&D 5e. 

  1. Human
  2. Stone Giant
  3. Troll
  4. Ogre
  5. Hill Giant / Erde Hüne
  6. Fire Giant
  7. Frost Giant
  8. Cloud Giant
  9. Storm Giant

There. That is far more useful. 

How do I work through the Square-Cube Law?  Magic!

Of all these creatures I think I will develop the Erde Hüne (Earth Giants) and the Meer Hüne (Sea Giants) more. Fire and Frost are already covered well in the various jötunn of Norse myths. The progenitors of the Storm and Cloud Giants I think are also handled well by the Greek myths.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Review: DragonQuest, First Edition (1980)

DragonQuest First Edition
I have a history with DragonQuest. Not a complicated one or even an interesting one, but history all the same.  Back in 83 or 84 or so I would head to Belobrajdic's Bookstore in my hometown every weekend. There I would get a new edition of Dragon or whatever sci-fi novel piqued my interest and then check out all the new RPG materials.  One I kept going back to time and time again was DragonQuest.  This was the 2nd Edition softcover and looked really different than anything I had played so far.  The barbarian proudly holds the severed head of a dragon. 

The game intrigued me so much. I flipped through it many times and even it got to the point that I annoyed the owner, Paula Belobrajdic, that she told me I should buy it.  In retrospect, I wish I had.  Though had I I likely would not have picked up the great-looking first edition boxed set next to me now.

My history with the first edition is not as long or as storied. I bought it a while back and it has sat on my shelves for a bit. I did do a character write-up last year, Phygor, for DragonQuest and I really liked how the character came it. 

For this month of D&D, I figure a look into the game that tempted me so much would be neat to look into.

DragonQuest, First Edition (1980)

This game was published by SPI in 1980.  SPI had been a wargame publisher and decided to get into the RPG market. I am sure they were seeing their market share being eaten away by RPGs, and D&D in particular.  This is important since this game does feel very wargamey. This includes how the rules are presented and even how combat is run. While D&D/AD&D at this time was open to minis and terrain maps this game requires them. Or at least chits and the included maps. 

DragonQuest 1st Edition Boxed Set

The boxed set I have contains three soft-cover books. Some chits. Some ads, a comment card, and a tactical hex map.  My set does not have dice, but I also don't think it originally came with dice.  I added two d10s myself.

The First Book of DragonQuest: Character Generation, Combat
The First Book of DragonQuest: Character Generation, Combat

Our first book is the smaller of the three at 32 pages.  The format is three-column and the rules are all presented in "wargame" style.  So Adventure Rationale can be coded as II.1.A.1.  I won't be using this much but it does make it easy to find any rule. A little cumbersome at first and then it gets really easy. 

This was an interesting time. The Introduction (I.) and How to Play the Game (II.) don't spend a lot of time with the "This is a Roleplaying Game" and instead gets down to business. Requirements for play are discussed as well as Game Terms (III.).

We get into Character Generation (IV.) This is not a completely random affair as D&D was at the time.  You roll and get a pool of points. Though with a high number of points, your maximum is low, likewise a small amount in a point pool will give you a higher maximum.  The traits are Physical Strength, Agility, Magical Aptitude, Manual Dexterity, Endurance, Willpower, and Appearance. Scores are 5 to 25 for the human range.  So you roll a 4d5 (1d10/2) which will generate a score from 4 to 20.  Compare this to the table under 5.1. This table gives you your point pool (82 to 98) and a Group (A to G) These groups refer to the maximums. A = 25, B = 24 and G =19.-

There are even some rules for developing other types of abilities if the Game Master desires them. After this other details are figured out; Gender (or even genderless), handiness, human or non-human (such as Dwarf, Efl, Giant, Halfling, Orc or Shape-changer), various Aspects, and Heritages.  It can be a complex character system all for what is nominally an 18-year-old.   This all covers the first dozen pages.  There are no classes (rather famously so) and more to your character from the next books.

The last half+ of this book covers combat. All movement and combat is done on a hex grid, not a square one. Gives it an interesting twist and again a holdover of their wargame roots. Plenty of diagrams and examples are given. Combat rounds are 10 seconds and can be made up of an undefined increment of time called a Pulse. There are Strike Zones, Fire Zones, and all sorts of fun bits.  I am reminded of combat in D&D 3rd Edition here to be honest. 

Damage is an equally detailed affair with damage affecting Fatigue and Endurance. When Fatigue is 0 damage starts happening to Endurance, there is a similar idea here in D&D 4th edition. Maybe when TSR bought SPI DragonQuest didn't entirely disappear.  There is also Grievous injury which is much worse. 

Personally, I feel any D&D player could get a lot out of reading this combat section, at least give it a play-through once.  

The Second Book of DragonQuest: Magic
The Second Book of DragonQuest: Magic

Ask anyone that has ever played both DragonQuest and D&D about what sets the two games apart the most and you are likely to hear "Magic."  In 1980 DragonQuest took an approach to magic that would not be seen in other games until much later.  What made it different then? Three pretty good reasons. Mana, different kinds of spells, and Colleges.

Mana in DragonQuest fuels the magic an Adept can use. Spell casting can be tiring and there is never a guarantee that the spell will work. It could fail or backfire. Even when it works the target can be resistant to it.  And Adepts can never wear metal to top it all off. This notion is pretty commonplace now, but then it was new and exciting. I have lost track of how many "spell points" and "mana" systems I have seen applied to AD&D over the years and that is not counting systems like Mage and WitchCraft that use some form of Essence or Quintessence. Ass expected Magical Aptitude is important here, but so is Willpower and even Endurance. 

The different sorts of spells the adept has access to. Nearly every adept has access to at least one magical talent (I'll get to that). These talents can be thought of as a power that can always be used and they are related to the Adept's college.  Then there are "normal" spells. These are the most "D&D" like and each college has its own lists and there is very little crossover, though each college has something going for it. The limiting factors here are how many spells you know.  Finally, there are rituals. These are like spells that take longer, usually much longer, require more components but have a far better chance of success.  

I have talked a bit about them already, but DragonQuest's adepts learn their magic from distinct Colleges. There are twelve colleges: Ensorcelments & Enchantments, Sorceries of the Mind, Illusions, Naming Incantations, Earth Magics, Air Magics, Fire Magics, Water Magics, Celestial Magics, Black Magics, Necromancy, and Greater Summonings.  Each college has its own requirements.  After the college descriptions, we get [xx.1] restrictions, [xx.2] modifiers, [xx.3] Talents, [xx.4] Spells, [xx.6] General Rituals and [xx.7] Special Rituals.  There are 30 pages of these.

This should all sound familiar. AD&D 2nd adopted the college idea in their schools of magic; though there is more overlap in spells.  D&D 4th Ed gave us at-will, encounter, and daily spells that mimic this setup.  All have been recombined one way or the other in 5th Edition. Again, this was all brand new in 1980.

Also, something that flies in the face of all things of the 1980s is the last 25 pages. Here we get a listing of demons straight out of the Ars Goetia of The Lesser Key of Solomon. Who they are and how to summon them. And the Christians were going after D&D. 

The Third Book of DragonQuest: Skills, Monsters, Adventure
The Third Book of DragonQuest: Skills, Monsters, Adventure

Overtly the Game Master's book. 

Skills can be roughly thought of as professions or even, dare I say it, classes. You get professional skills like Alchemist, Assassin, Astrology, Beast Master, Courtesan, Healer, Mechanician, Merchant, Military Scientist, Navigator, Ranger, Spy, Thief, and Troubador.  Each one is covered in detail along with what each profession allows the character to do. 

Each "profession" skill gets a listing [xx.1] to [xx.9] that covers what is needed to learn each skill (prereqs), what it does, and how it does it. For example, according to 53.1, a Beast Master must have a Willpower of at least 15. In 54.1 we learn that while Courtesans do not have minimum scores there is an XP penalty if they don't meet certain requirements (Dexterity, Agility, Physical Beauty) and a bonus if they have higher scores.   The back cover of this book gives the XP expenditure to go up a rank in each. 

Personally. I think this should have been part of the Characters' book.

The next section is all about Monsters. They are divided by like types. So all the primates, apes and pre-humans are in one section, cats in another, birds and avians, land mammals, aquatics and so on all get their own sections. Dragons get their own section, naturally, but wyverns are part of reptiles.  The usual suspects are all here, but not much more than that. There are however enough points of comparison that converting an AD&D monster to DragonQuest would be easy enough. There are some differences too. Nymphs have the lower half of a goat, like that of a satyr. Gnolls are dog-faced. Kobolds look like tiny old men, neither dog nor lizard-like, and tend towards good.  Medusa and Gorgons are the same creatures. Not much in the way of "new" monsters, even for 1980.

The last section covers Adventure. For a game that has such tactical wargame DNA, I expected a little more here, but I guess I am not surprised, to be honest. We also get a few tables.

--

There is so much packed into this box. I can really see why this game, more than 40 years later, still has such a following. While I lament that TSR (and by extension Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro) have let this IP fall into disuse, I do see where bits of it live on in nearly all the post-1990 (AD&D 2nd ed Ed in 1989 too) versions of D&D. Schools of magic, tactical battle movement, mini use, all of these became standard.  I can't say that all of these directly came from DragonQuest, but they are certainly all headed in the directions that DragonQuest started. 

My issue right now is not counting D&D and its various forms, editions, and offsprings, I have a lot of Fantasy RPGs.  Many of my favorites are more or less dead.

Dead Fantasy RPGs

They are all great fun but with DragonQuest I am right where I was back in 1984; It's a great-looking game, but no one around me is playing it.  If I Am going to play like it was 1984 I am going to pull AD&D 1st Ed off my shelf.

The obvious reason to choose one over the other is how well does it play? Well, DragonQuest is above and beyond many of the others in terms of rules and playability. Also as I mentioned there is a huge amount of online support, informal as it is. 

There is also the idea that with DragonQuest, and adding in SPI's Demons, I could create a fun demon summoning game.  But again I have to ask, can't I do this with D&D now?

DemonQuest

Maybe DemonQuest is a game I could try out!

What are your thoughts and memories about this game? 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Review: Tome of the Unclean (Castles & Crusades)

Tome of the Unclean
Last week I spent a lot of time with the Castles & Codex series and it was great fun.  But there is another book that also works well with my universe building and it is not about the gods.  Rather quite the opposite.

Tome of the Unclean

Back in October of 2017 Troll Lords launched their Tome of the Unclean Kickstarter. With the idea to bring demons, devils, and other fiends to the Castles & Crusades game.  It would also work with Amazing Adventures (which is what I would end up doing later).  I was immediately hooked and knew I needed this book.

Fast forward to 2019 I got my book in the mail and I had been picking up the PDFs (they released as they were completed starting in Jan 2018) all throughout. 

I have just been really slow at getting my review up.

For this review, I am considering both the hardcover print version from the Kickstarter and the now final PDF from DriveThruRPG.

144 pages. Color covers, black & white interior art.

The book follows a format that is now common to many books about fiends.  A part that deals with Demons and Lords of the Abyss.  Another that covers Devils and the Legions of Hell. And a third, which often differs from book to book, covers other fiends of Gehenna and the Undead.  Adding in the undead is a nice touch in my mind and a value add for the book.

Demons & Devils

This covers the basic differences and how these creatures fit into the World of Aihrde, the game world of Castles & Crusades.  It also covers the basics of the monster stat block.

Lords of the Abyss

This is our section about Demons and the Abyss.  It cleaves pretty close to the AD&D standard with what I often refer to as "the Usual Suspects," so all the "Type" demons and succubi. The new material here includes Abyssal Oases which are areas that are habitable by mortal-kind that seem to come up at random.

Covered here are also traits about the Abyss and powers and traits common to all demons. 

The monsters are all alphabetical, so common demons are not separated from the lords.  There are a few lords present. Demogorgon and Orcus return.  But also Oozemandius (as a Juiblex stand-in) and Buer. Graz'zt is mentioned a few times, but no stats are given.  There are 32 total demons with four as lords.

Legions of Hell

This section follows a pattern similar to the Demons one.  The Hells are described, including the nine layers.  They have some new names and some differences, but if you are wed to the Ed Greenwood Dragon articles about Hell then there is not a lot to convert here.  

There are 53 devils, with 16 of these listed as unique Arch-Devils. There are more new devils here than there are new demons.  

Gehenna

This is our "Neutral Evil" plane in the Great Wheel cosmology of the world of Aihrde, taking the place of Hades or the Grey Wastes from AD&D.  This is home to the daemons.  Like the previous chapters, this covers the features of the land and it's inhabitants.  Reading through it is feels like equal parts of the Greek Hades and the Underworld of Kur in the Babylonian myths where Ereshkigal rules.  

Only four deamons are detailed here, with one, Charon the Boatman, as the only unique member.

Undead

The name of the book is the Tome of the Unclean. While demons and devils take up the vast majority of the book there is still some space for the Undead.

18 undead creatures are detailed here, most of favorites (but creatures Vampires are missing) and some new ones. 

Denizens. Fauna, & Flora

Covers various types of evil, non-fiendish, non-undead, monsters that can also be found.

We end with Aihrde specific information and our OGL page.

Tome of the Damned is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting more information on demons, devils, and their ilk for anyone playing Castles & Crusades.  In fact, if you are playing C&C and want demons then this is a must-have book.

The advantage of Castles & Crusades is that it can be adapted to AD&D or any OSR game easily.  So if you want more than what the Monster Manuals I & II can give you, then this book is also a good choice.   I f you are playing AD&D 2nd ed then this book will fill in many of the gaps left by that game.

Now, I have an entire library of books dedicated to demons, devils, and all sorts of evil monsters.  There were only a few things here actually new to me.  But I still rather enjoyed this book quite a lot.  It is a good addition to my Castles & Crusades library.

Castles & Crusades


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Review: Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum

Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum
Coming up on some myths I know the least about and maybe the most excited to read.  There is a lot of great stories I have read and watched over the years.  What I like, so far, is that these are mostly new stories to me.  Well. Not entirely new. I have been using Baba Yaga for years and my first published Ghosts of Albion adventure deals with Chernbog (Czernobog in this book).  

So let's instead say I am less familiar with all of these.

Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum

For this review, I am considering the PDF and hardcover book.  The book is 94 pages. Color covers, black & white art. Written once again by Brian Young.  He doesn't say it in the books, but it is Brian N. Young, Ph.D.  He worked hard and earned his degree and it should be recognized.  

Chapter 1: In Bygone Years

Like the previous volumes, this chapter covers both the real-world history and the myths of the area.  The area in question surrounds the Black Sea in Eastern Europe.  

We get some pre-history, but the people we call the Slavs will get their start in this volume with Byzantine Empire.  The time period here is parallel to both the Germanica and Nodica books.

The myths of the area are all new to me and while Young (the author) does a good job in his summary, it leaves me wanting to seek out more.  I suppose that is the point right?

Chapter 2: The Whole World & That Which is Beyond

This goes into detail about the lands of the Slavs and these myths.  I have now gone through five of these Codecies and I am thinking that a Castles & Crusades game in Mythic Earth is a great idea.  There is a nice map of the Slavic Kingdoms.  

The second half of this covers the mythic lands of the Slavs; the three worlds.  Like the Norse, these are placed on the World Tree, the Drugi Svet. Young even mentions that combination is possible but does not (correctly) tell you how since it would depend on YOUR world.  The three worlds are Parv (or Iriy or Vyrjy), the realms of light, the lands of summer, and the home of the Gods. Lav (or Yav) is the middle realm of men, and Nav the Underworld.  Here Czernobog becomes the Devil-like figure.  Indeed it might be hard to tease out what is Czernobog and what is "Lucifer" in modern depictions of "the Devil."  Svarog is our creator deity of light. 

In a case of supporting my "One Man's God" series, there is Peklo, the Abyss, which is the home of various demons.  Demons it seems very much in the AD&D mindset.

There are more lands and frankly, the more I read the more I want to use all of this in a game. 

Chapter 3: Did Dwell Many Peoples

Our monster chapter.  Monsters are "false creations" (my words, not so much Young's) of Czernobog.  And there are some GREAT monsters here. Nearly 50 monsters here. Some are familiar to any D&D players, but many are new to *D&D games or at least in this form.  

There are a couple new "races" that characters can be.  The Zmajevit, or the "Dragon born" are humans with dragon blood in them. The Zduhac, or the Elemenatal ones, are elemental influenced humans. 

There is also a new class here, the Vampirdzhija or the Vampire Hunter. This is a Wisdom-based class. Essentially the Vampire Slayer of the Slavic cultures. 

Chapter 4: Filled with Great Magic

Another favorite section this one covers magic and new magic-using classes.   The Kolduny is a new type of wizard that is Wisdom-based.   The Molfar is the Slavic shaman, also Wisdom-based.

There are a few names mentioned for other types of spell casters. These are just names for other types, but do not have their own class per se. 

Chapter 5: Of Mighty Gods and Spirits

This chapter takes the myths and reshapes them into something that can be used with Castles & Crusades but of course any other game.  And there are a lot of gods here! Some are familiar to me, but most are brand new.  

There is some text on the pagan religions of the Slavs and their practices. 

Chapter 6: Battle Strong and Heroic

This is typically the "fighters" chapter. This one covers the weapons used by the Slavs and mentions of the heroes and groups of heroes of their tales. 

Chapter 7: Castle Keeper Info

This is the GM's or Castle Keeper's information on running a game using these rules. Like the others in this series, this includes names and the various laws of the lands. 

More so than the other books this one left me wanting more.  This is a good thing and not a fault of the book. It is due to my own unfamiliarity with these myths and stories.  It would work well with the Germanic and Nordic books for greater world-building.  Now I want books like this for all the big myths of the world. 

Codex Europa

Maybe one for Spain and Al-Andalus should be next?  What do you think Dr. Young?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monstrous Mondays: The AD&D 2nd Ed Monstrous Compendiums, Part 5

MC14 Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix
Fiends, Fiends, Fiends!

Today I delve into a dark subterranean world filled with long-forgotten creatures that have not seen the light of our sun for ages. Of course, by that, I mean the Usenet, and that age was the early 90s.  

What I think was one of the first big battles of the Edition Wars was the one concerning demons and devils.  Namely, where the hell were they for AD&D 2nd Edition?  They have not appeared in any of the Monstrous Compendiums so far and the official word was they were no longer needed.  Which everyone knew was a smokescreen for TSR caving into concerned, busy-body mothers and the religious right.  The discussions on Usenet had a LOT of opinions on why they were gone and then what to make of them when they finally came back.

Thankfully this did not last and by the start of 1991, we got demons and devils back, albeit in the names Tanar'ri and Baatezu. Ok, the names were changed but they were back.  In truth, I never minded the name change and it opened up the lower planes to have more than one type of demon or fiend. Something we are still benefiting from today.

MC14 Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix

PDF 64 pages (70 with dividers and covers), Color cover art, black & white interior art, $4.99. 

While not full of fiend per se, the Fiend Folio has always had a place in the games of many 1st Ed AD&D players.  It was the second "Monster Manual" and it collected a number of creatures from various modules and the White Dwarf Fiend Factor column.  It was also either really loved or really hated, depending on who you asked.  Maybe that is the reason it did not get published until much later (1992) and was the 14th MC to be published.

This MC contains 65 monsters, Aballin to Zygraat, and is a fairly good representation of the monsters listed in the original Fiend Folio.  Some new (the aforementioned Aballin) but a few notable ones had appeared in other volumes already.  Drow appeared in the main Monstrous Compendium. Death Knights were moved to Dragonlance (a loosing their demonic heritage in the process) and Styx Devils had been published in the MC8 (see below).  The "oriental" Dragons are not here, but Gem Dragons are. There is no flumph here though. We don't see those again until Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two. 

Also there are no explanatory notes here that many of the others also had.  I guess at this point you are expected to know how to read the stat blocks. Not a complaint at all, merely an observation.

It is a mostly generic compilation of monsters and I mean that is a positive way.  These monsters can be used anywhere.  For example, I pulled out the Penanggalan and put it in my Ravenloft collection.

MC14 Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix

MC8 Outer Planes Compendium
MC8 Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix

PDF 96 pages (102 with dividers and covers), Color cover art, black & white interior art, $4.99.  

This collection has 90+ monsters (Aasimon to Zoveri) from the various outer planes.  There are good and evil ones here so plenty for DMs taking the characters out of the dungeon and into new worlds.  There are a lot of old familiar faces and some new ones.  The "named" Demon Princes or Dukes of Hell are not here. Many, like Orcus, will never even get AD&D 2nd Ed stats. Most of the 1st Ed converts feel buffed up in stats. Even the succubus, a demon with little desire for combat, feels tougher with all her powers defined.

Demons and creatures from the Outer Planes in general really feel like they benefit from these expanded monster entries. While the Planescape Setting is still a bit away, we get tidbits of information about the Blood War and more.  Reminding us that when it comes to settings, 2nd Ed really was quite superior. 

MC8 Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix

Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix III

Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix III

PDF, 128 pages. Color art. $9.99

This book was one of the bound softcover Monstrous Compendium Appendices and it took on the trad dress and style of the Planescape line rather than the Monstrous Compendium line. The monsters inside conformed to the standard of the Monstrous Compendium stat blocks, but there was no doubt what line this belonged to.

This volume has 128 pages and 71 monsters from Animental to Xill.  Many of these monsters appear on both sides of the page, usually due to the larger art elements, and expanded details including a bit of fluff for each one.  This makes this book actually better for use in the three-ring binders.  Even though this one was never designed to be added!  Again another point for the PDFs.  That is if you don't mind printing out all the full-color pages this one has.

Interestingly enough the Xill appears here and the Fiend Folio MC 14.  In fact, many monsters from the AD&D 1st Fiend Folio also make it here. Cases in point the Quasi-elementals, the khargra (with much improved art), thoqqua, and trilloch.  The Khargra and the Xill appear in all three (1st ed and both 2nd Ed books).

Xill

This one does have explanatory notes and it also covers the ecology of the outer planes.  By this time the Planescape setting had been in pretty wide use so the "Planescape" view of the Outer Planes has superseded, for good or ill, the AD&D 1st Edition Manual of the Planes version.

AD&D 2nd Ed may not have started out with fiends (of any sort) but they ended with not just a few, but a whole new outlook on them that changed how D&D would use them for the next 30 years.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

One Man's God: Gods, Demigods, and Heroes

If you pardon the play on words here, the book Gods, Demigods, and Heroes holds a place of strange honor in the pantheon of D&D books.  It was the last of the Original D&D Supplements, Supplement IV. The next thing to come out would bring the split in the D&D product line, the Holmes Basic would continue OD&D in a strange OD&D/AD&D hybrid and the Monster Manual would start the AD&D product line.   In many ways, my personal "Ur-D&D" is a combination of Holmes Basic, the Monster Manual, Eldritch Wizardry, and GD&H.  My copy is the 7th Printing from 1976 so it at least mentions all the above books on the back page. 

Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Legends and Lore

The book was certainly making the rounds in my schools' various D&D groups and it was used EXACTLY as Mr. Kask told everyone not to use it as; a high-powered Monster Manual.  I have a distinct memory of hearing a conversation in my 8th grade D&D club about how someone's character was now the head of the Greek Gods because he had killed Zeus with Stormbringer.  It was a different time.

But I am not here today to comment on the various merits of the GD&H book.  I am here to talk about what it has to offer in terms of a One Man's God feature.

To do that I first need to at least see what Gods, Demigods & Heroes has in common with Deities & Demigods.  

The Gods, Demigods, and Heroes

I am going to compare my original Gods, Demigods, & Heroes to my original Deities & Demigods.  Both books would later have various mythos removed.

The books have the following pantheons/mythos in common (in order of appearance from GD&H):

Egyptian, India, Greek, Celtic, Norse (the largest), Finnish, Melnibone, Central American, "Eastern Mythos" (Chinese)

And the only Mythos unique to GD&H: Howard's Hyborea.

If you grab the PDF or POD versions of GD&H now there are no Melnibone or Hybora sections.

In many cases, there are more entries for various gods, heroes, and monsters in GD&H than in the D&DG.  Largely this is due to the much smaller statblocks and the lack of any art.  I could spend a lot of time going over the various differences, but I am sure that has already been done elsewhere online.  There are people that live for that sort of in depth D&D scholarship.

This is a One Man's God post, so to stay on topic I am looking for demons.

Deities, Demigods, & Demons

This will be a bit harder to tease out since many of the entries do not have an alignment listed.   Yes you read that correctly one of the oldest D&D books does not even use alignment for gods or monsters.

Also, the aim of One Man's God is to cast various creatures in terms of AD&D Demons.  AD&D only existed in Gary's head at this point. Though the demons did get a jump start in Eldritch Wizardry.  So for this posting, I am going to see what monsters here could be classified as Eldritch Wizardry demons.  This is appropriate since so many of the entries here have psionic abilities.

Egypt, Greek, Celtic, Melnibone, Central American, Chinese: No new creatures.

India: The section on India gives us three fantastic choices.  The Rakshasas will later go on to appear in the Monster Manual and Lawful Evil.  The related Yakshas, called "The weaker demons" and two other possible ones in the Naga (also in the MM) and the Maruts, or the Wind Spirits. Maruts are likely to be good-aligned. 

Norse: While I commented in the past that the giants of Norse myth take the place of other myths demons, there are some creatures that could be considered more demon-like.  Garm the guard dog of the Gate of Hel is literally a Hel-Hound. The Fenris Wolf and Jormungandr are both either demi-gods or demons.  But these last two do not meet all the requirements I set out to be AD&D demons.

Finnish: The Finnish myths get a lot of expansion here and if anyone is a fan of these tales then DG&H is a superior take than D&DG. Likely to due space reasons.

Hyborea

This one is getting special attention as it is "new" and tales from Robert E. Howard really shaped the look and feel of D&D.  Interestingly enough, these gods have no psionic powers.

There are few creatures here named demons; Demon of the Black Hands, Brylukas (neither man, nor beast, nor demon but a little of all three), Thaug the Demon, Khosatral Khel the Demon, the Octopus Demon, and Yag-Kosha.

This section is really written for people who already know all of these stories as there is not a lot of description given for anything.  I know some of these stories but I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. 

For this, I would need to defer to the expert on Conan and how to use REH in OD&D, Jason Vey.  He has done enough about this to secure his place even the official accounts of the DG&H write-ups.



Forbidden LoreAge of ConanSecrets of Acheron



And with this epilog I wrap up the original purpose of One Man's God.  
I have a couple of posts on Syncretism still to do and maybe a couple of other side quests.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Monstrous Monday: Aamon, Grand Marquis of Hell

Another social media-inspired post today.  My wife was reading something on Geek Girls and she got very excited about the idea of there being border-lands in Hell. Which naturally got us talking about my Demons for Basic Bestariy III.  Not knowing anything about the D&D Blood War, she thought the idea of multiple demonic species in "Hell" a really fun idea.  She was really excited when I mentioned that my Basic Bestarity Demons come in 12 different species, or what I am calling Lineages.

What D&D calls unique devils I refer to as the "Baalseraph" or the Devil Lords.  These are the ones that fell to Hell after losing the War in Heaven.  Each Baalseraph is unique and each one had a previous name from when they were spirits of good.   

Today I want to investigate both of these topics and also show why I also like using OGC monsters.  In this case, I am updating "Amon" from the Tome of Horrors Complete from Necromancer Games and Frog God Games.

Aamon, Grand Marquis of Hell

"Amon, or Aamon, is a great and mighty marques, and commeth abroad in the likeness of a Wolf, having a serpents tail, [vomiting] flames of fire; when he putteth on the shape of a man, he sheweth out dogs teeth, and a great head like to a mighty [night hawk]; he is the strongest prince of all other, and understandeth of all things past and to come, he procureth favor, and reconcileth both friends and foes, and rule forthy legions of devils."

- Johann Wier (1583) Pseudomonarchia Daemonum.

Large Fiend (Diabolic, Baalseraph)

Aamon, Grand Marquis
Frequency:
 Unique
Number Appearing: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaotic [Lawful Evil]
Movement: 180' (60') [18"]
Armor Class: -2 [21]
Hit Dice: 22d8+44****** (143 hp)
 Large: 22d20+44****** (165 hp)
To Hit AC 0: 6 (+14)
Attacks: 1 weapon or 2 claws, 1 bite
Damage: 2d6+6 (+3 weapon, +3 strength) or 1d6+3 x2, 1d8+3
Special: Baalseraph powers and immunities, magic resistance (75%), regeneration (3 hp/round), spell-like abilities, summoning, teleapthy 100 ft. (see below)
Save: Monster 22
Morale: 12 (NA)
Treasure Hoard Class: XVI, XII (G,K)
XP: 16,250 (OSE) 16,750 (LL)

Str: 19 (+3) Dex: 17 (+2) Con: 16 (+2) Int: 18 (+3) Wis: 16 (+2) Cha: 18 (+3)

Aamon, also called Amon and Nahum, appears as a wolf-headed humanoid standing 9’ tall. His fur is brownish-black and his eyes and teeth are yellow. His great clawed hands are brownish in color and covered in shaggy fur.  He has a long tail like a snake.  

Aamon is a vassal in service to Geryon, commanding no less than 3 legions of bone devils and 40 legions of lesser shedim (devils) on his home plane in Hell. Amon wields a +3 great-mace with two hands. He can also bite in the same round for 1d8+3 hp damage.  If pressed he can attack with his two massive claws instead of his sword. Amon is only harmed by +3 or better weapons. Amon is very strong (STR 19), receiving +3 to hit and damage in melee combat. He regenerates 3 hp per round.

Aamon has the following spell-like abilities, usable at will: animate dead, charm monster, detect invisibility, detect magic, dispel magic, fear (as the spell), fly, geas, know alignment, polymorph self, produce flame, read languages, read magic, suggestion, teleportation, wall of ice, and limited wish (for another being only). In addition, one time per day he may employ a symbol of hopelessness and gate (60% probability of success) 1d4 bone devils. He is able to summon all wolves in a 1-mile radius and control them to do his will.

Like all Baalseraph, Aamon has the following damage modifiers.  He takes no damage from fire (mundane, magical or dragon), normal weapons, or poison (ingested).  He is immune to the effects of mind-affecting magics like charm, ESP, hold, and sleep.  He takes half the damage (and saves for no damage) from cold, electricity, and poisonous gases.  Finally, he takes full damage (or saves for half where applicable) from acid, magic missile attacks (or similar magical energy), blessed, magical, or silvered weapons.   He has magic resistance of 75%. 

Prior to his fall, he had been the spirit known as Nahum, which means "who induces to eagerness."   He was summoned as an impartial judge in disputes between friends.  Now as one of the fallen he creates strife between friends. 

As a Grand Marquis Aamon commands his troops to fend off the hordes of invading Asuras, Calabim, Tarterians.

Seal of Amon

--

Aamon is not just a great example of a Grand Marquis, he is a great example of an OGC monster.   He is used in Pathfinder, Swords & Wizardry, Advanced Labyrinth Lord, and others along with its original use in AD&D.

Section 15 for this monster follows:

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Swords & Wizardry Core Rules. Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch
Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook. Copyright 2010, Matthew J. Finch.

Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games.

Amon from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; based on original material by Author Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.

I am choosing to cleave close to the original material and the OGC material because I feel that anyone using this monster (or later using the Basic Bestiary) to be able to slot him right into an ongoing game without too many "continuity errors."  So I include his "mythological" background (description, legions controlled) and his "D&D" background (allegiance to Geryon).  I also include more details that are solely from my own games (Baalseraph, borderland disputes). 

My Aamon is expanded and changed, but I can see where you can use Amon and Aamon interchangeably. The ability to pick up one of my monsters and use them in any game is one of my main design goals.

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