Showing posts sorted by relevance for query succubus. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query succubus. Sort by date Show all posts

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,

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 1

I'll admit it.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Succubi.    Those little trollops from Hell, tempting men with there wild demonic ways.  There are the fangs, the wings and the whole draining your life force and taking your soul to Hell.

What is not to love?

Maybe it was that David Sutherland Succubus from the AD&D Monster Manual.  This was hot stuff back in 1979. She was like a perky little cheerleader for Satan. With wings instead of pom-poms.  I always said if I ever got a tattoo this would be it.  Well maybe never said that out-loud.

One of the very few movies about a succubus was called, at least when I rented it on VHS many years ago, The Succubus.  I looked for this film forever.  Of course I finally found it again, under it's more common title of The Devil's Nightmare.  She was a blue skinned demon that reminds me of the old AD&D Monster Cards. Though there is this other movie also called "Succubus",, but I don't think I ever saw that one.  I wonder why Succubi don't appear in more movies but I can think of a few named succubi that appear in D&D alone and that is not counting the Anime, modern horror books, webcomics, and even their own Wiki and Blog.  Reaper minis have practically made a market on little metal succubi.

I was recently going through the old Mentzer Immortal set for Basic (BECMI) D&D.  One of the very cool things in that book were how they portrayed the Succubus.  They called them "Whispering Demons".  How cool is that.  That really changes their nature in terms of a combat game.  Now they are not out there fighting the characters, but working subtly behind the scenes to get things done.  Sort of like how they re-visioned the Orion Slave Girls in Trek.  I like that idea myself.  Ups their temptress/seductress side and down plays their combat. Even if in the Immortal rules they are 15 HD compared to the MM's 6 HD. Ok, not exactly the same systems I know.  The succubus has had a few changes over the years and editions.  They were absent from AD&D 2nd Ed for the longest time only to turn up as Tanar'ri.I guess that was an attempt to placate the Religious Right.  In D&D 3.x they were back to their 1st Ed demonic selves really, but some of the 2nd Ed baggage was kept.  In D&D 4 they become devils (more on that in a sec) but they are certainly the same things.  In fact the only thing really different about them is they are not just content to tempt humans but Arch Devils now too.

I did a review/write-up on the Selfish Succubus from Flames Rising and did a bunch of stat ups for that, not all of which were demons.  In the WitchCraft game (and in the old Vampire game too I think) they are a type of Vampire.  I also have some Succubi I did for a Willow & Tara adventure, but mine were not much different than what appeared in the 1st Ed. AD&D book.  I did play of off my 2nd Ed AD&D Witch book and classified them not as demons, but as Lilim, or the Daughters of Lilith.  Compare this to what they did to them in D&D 4.0, where they are now listed as devils. This one of the changes to the D&D 4 game I actually disliked at first.  I can see the reasons behind it, but it seemed to be a odd change to me.  Demons are about destruction and lust, betrayal and dominance is just another form of that.  What though is nice about the 4E Succubus is she now fills the role of both the 3E Succubus and the 3E "Pleasure Devil" or Brachina, which was something like a fallen angel.  Plus I do like the idea of the Arch Dukes of Hell having their own group of Succubi spies.

Going to the myths is helpful, but confusing.  There are so many creatures that are like the succubus and they are also often confused with vampires, lamias, and Night Hags.  Though that is the thing about RPGs.  In myth there are thousands of monsters with lots of overlap or maybe even different names for the same thing.  So I can have my succubus and my night hag and even though they share similar backgrounds I can keep them separate.  Playing off of the Maiden-Mother-Crone archetypes I can have my Succubi as twisted Maidens (stealing men's vital essence), Lamia (and not the collection of bugs one) as the dark Mother that eats babies, and Night Hags as a Crone who does not impart wisdom, but madness (and a nasty surprise).

I could argue then that Succubi in my games are Lilim, the offspring of Lilith and various devils.  I think I can live with that.  Succubi in my D&D games then at least are the offspring of Demons and Devils.  Sure.  Desired by all and trusted by none.

How to Use Succubi in your game
Succubi are the perfect foil for a group of adventurers.  Adventurers, especially high level ones, are everything a Succubi would want.  They have power, fame, prestige and can influence the world. Since a fair number of adventurers are in it for fame and fortune, or at least ale and wenches, a succubi is like candy.  The beauty of it is that even when some players figure it out, they still might go for it.  It's like the "alien girl-friend" trope in some Anime; "I am so awesome my girlfriend is a Demon!" It's the same reason there are so many catgirls out there.

The obvious choice is of course the Temptress for a darker power.  The Succubi are sent to the game world to collect souls.  Once they have them they go back and give them to their pimp the Arch Duke that employs them.

In my Unisystem games I have used Succubi/Lilim a couple of different ways.  In one adventure she was captured along with a bunch of other supernatural types but had fallen in love with an angel.  In another during the same campaign I used succubi as lures and bait for some humans using their magic to drain mundane humans.

What I like to use the most for is a surprise.  Don't get me wrong, I like the whole bad girl thing they have going and I am a fan.  But a succubus in a game lacks honest surprise from the players.  Not just a good succubus, but something way out of the ordinary.  The Succubus Paladin that WotC was going on about in the 3.x days was cool and I love to hear more of her story.  In 4e I'd love to build a Succubus Warlock. Infernal of course, with her natural 22 Charisma as her casting stat (thats +10 to start). That would be very awesome and a great NPC foe for the PCs.  3rd Ed had level adjustments, so I'll have to figure out how to build her in 4e or even other systems. I think a awesome character then is in order here.  Not Lilith, too much baggage. But something entirely new, and like Dirty Nellie, someone I can use across a lot of different games.

Here is what I have so far.  A succubus was sent to tempt a powerful wizard.  She went in disguised as a human in order to win him over and steal his soul for her dark master.  Of course the wizard knew what she was all along and finally revealed that fact to her.  They struck a bargin, she would remain and continue her affections (he was still human after all) and he would teach her magic.  Each thought they would have the upper hand so they both agreed.  Several years later the succubus had learned much in the ways of magic and wizard eventually died.  He attempted to cheat his fate by becoming a lich, but she won in the end.  With soul in hand she returned to her dark master.  But once there she had no desire to be the willing servant anymore, so with the power of the wizards soul and all the magic she had learned she trapped her former master in a soul cage.  She changed her truename and set up shop in the wizard's former tower.  In a moment of what must have been weakness she released the wizard's soul to find it's own rewards in the afterlife.  Now the succubus remains in the world. She seeks out all sorts of magical knowledge and grows in power.  She has a cadre of apprentices to aid her in magical research and provide her with the life energies she needs.

Still needs a bit more detail, and a name.  But this is a good start and flexible enough to use in D&D, Ghosts of Albion, any modern horror game or even a supers game.

Next time: Crunch

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 2
Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 3

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 2

Continuing on with my tribute to the Succubus (or is that obsession?) here is some crunch.

Succubae for Ghosts of Albion (Cinematic Unisystem)

Succubae are demons that seduce men and feed off of their base desires and life force.
She can drain 1 Point of CON each night she visits, but must grapple awake opponents or visit them when sleeping.
The succubus can learn magic, but most often they do not.

Creature Type: Succubus (Demon)
Attributes: Str 3, Dex 5, Con 5, Int 4, Per 3, Will 6
Ability Scores: Muscle 12, Combat 13, Brains 15
Life Points: 45
Drama Points: 2

Powers: Glamour; Constitution Drain (1 CON point per visit); Flight; Insubstantial Form;
Qualities: Attractive 4; Hard to Kill; Innate Magic; Resistance (Fire, Poison; Mind Control); Telepathy; Charming Voice
Drawbacks: Lecherous; Covetous; Inhuman Form

Name;  Score; Damage; Notes
Bite;  13; 5;  Must grapple first; no defence action
Claw;  13; 8;  Two attacks per Turn
Grapple; 13; —;  Resisted by dodge
Kiss/Embrace; *; 1 CON point; Must Grapple first

Spellcasting 15 Varies By spell
Deflect 15 — Magic defence action; deflects spells 45º

Bat Winged Bimbo (Buffy and Angel, Cinematic Unisystem)
4-Point Quality
(Trying to do my best "Buffy-style" here)
Bat wing bimbos are demons, but don’t hold it against them. Sure they are as evil as their bigger sister the Succubi, but a girl has to make a living too. Like so many that leave their homes and end up in Southern California, the BWB has learned to do some things she never thought she would ever do to earn a buck.
Often times when not looking for a soul to steal, these catty little demons can be found fighting amongst themselves, avoiding over zealous demon hunters, or trying to get a real movie deal because they know they are a star and they hope no one will look into their pasts.

Being a Bat-Winged Bimbo gives you the following:
- 3 Levels of Attractive. We all know that evil always looks better.
- 3 levels of Hard To Kill. Living in a Hell hole makes you a bit tougher, living in Hell itself turns you into a hard ass bitch.
- Asbestos Soul. BWB gain a +1 Resistance to pain from fire and heat. BWB treat fire damage as regular damage (no extra damage each turn).
- Those cute horns count as a natural weapon, doing 1-2 points of damage per hit. (+1)
- Those sexy wings provide flight at the same movement rate as running. (+1)
- Gossipy. BWB bimbos tend to be a chatty, gossipy lot. Sure 99% of it is about manicures for wing talons and how to snag a good (evil?) demon lord, but some it useful. They get a +2 to their Occultism skill (the Things Man Was Not Meant to Know are fine for women it seems).
But this comes with a fair amount of drawbacks too.
Bat-Wing Bimbos have a host of mental and emotional problems. They are mean spirited (literally), petty, and vindictive not to mention lecherous little harpies. In game terms this equates to Cruel 1, Covetous (Greedy) 1, Covetous (Lecherous) 1.
Those large wings and horns might be totally hot, but you could never take her home to mom (unless of course mom was into that kinky stuff). This is worth Supernatural Form (definitely not human).

Bat Winged Bimbos as Characters
BWB can be a useful part of an otherwise upstanding and moral party of demon hunters. Slayers hate them, but those scrawny little bitches are just jealous. The biggest issue of course is how to hide those wings, horns and tail. Faerie Glamours or other illusion magics will hide their natural form from the mundane, but anyone that can see magic will see through that disguise to what she really looks like.

Bat Winged Bimbos were created to be something like a "lesser Succubus", akin to the old D&D Alu-Demon.  These were obviously inspired by the the same creatures in Macho Women with Guns.
If you go with my alternate take on Slayers from Every Angel is Terrifying then Succubi, Lilim and Slayers are all related.

Witch Girls Adventures
Malcolm Harris, the author of Witch Girls Adventures mentions that there are no demons in the Witch Girls universe, but there are spirits called "Hates".  It is actually kind of a neat concept.  If there are hate spirits then certainly there can be other deadly sins, such as lust spirits.  Alternately there could also be a type of vampire that feeds on emotions rather than blood.  The ones that feed on the more amorous emotions (lust, love) could be called Succubi.  In this sense they are more similar to the WitchCraft RPG Vampyre subtype.

A succubus in WGA should probably be something like Chloe Love from the Eerie Cuties webcomic.

Rank: 3
Body: d6 Mind: d6 Senses: d8
Will: d8 Social: d8 Magic: d6
Life Points: 12 Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 9 Zap Points: 12
Skills: Athletics +2, Basics +2, Dancing +4, Fighting +1, Hear +1, Leader +3, Look +2, Magic Etiquette +2, Mundane Etiquette +3, Mysticism +2, *Mythology +4, Streetwise +3
Abilities: Beautiful, Mysterious
Heritage: Demon / Lust Spirit / Vampire
Spells: Succubi have access to all the Charm type spells in the WGA core.

Cortex is a system I have talked about off and on.  It is one I like, just not one I get to play a lot of.
Succubi would work well in Cortex since the characters tend to skew more normal than say Buffy or Ghosts of Albion.  A single Succubi with a good plan should be more than a match for a group of heroes.
For example imagine the havoc a succubus could do to the investigators in a Supernatural game.

Angie Everhart as Lilith

Succubus (Base)
Agi d10 Str d6 Vit d10
Ale d12 Int d8 Wil d12

Init d10 + d12
LP 22
Endurance d10 + d12
Resistance d10 + d10

Allure d10, Amorous d8, Enhanced Communication d6, Enhanced Senses d6, Immunity d12, Inherent Weapon (claws) d2, Sharp Senses d6

Skills Athletics d4/Acrobatics d6, Influence d4, Knowledge d8/Occultism d12, Melee Weapons d4, Perception d6, Unarmed Combat d6

Attacks: The Succubus drains life force from her victims. She either does this while the victm is sleeping, in her embrace, or if she has grappled the victim. Once she has a victim in her embrace she will drain for a number of turns equal to a third the maximum result of the victim’s Vitality Attribute. She will return to the victim two more times, draining the remaining third each time till the victim dies.

Spellcraft & Swordplay
Succubi are set to appear in the upcoming Spellcraft & Swordplay supplement Eldritch Witchery, as soon as I finish writing it.  Among other things, EW will also feature Demons and Devils.  Succubi are the daughters of the Queen of Demons.


#App: 1
AC: 7
Move: 90' / Fly: 120'
HD: 6 (25)
Attacks: Claw/Claw/Special (2 dagger-2)
Special: Fly 120', Energy Drain (kiss), Darkvision, Dominate, Magic Resistance (fire), Immune to mundane weapons
Treasure: 6
XP: 345

These female demons are not found in great numbers and never working together.  They claim to be the daughters of the Demon Queen, but this is a claim the Demon Queen herself neither supports nor denies.  In any case these demons, while not physically very powerful, are capable of controlling other demons that are far more powerful.  Succbi are charged with the tempting of mortals, a task they relish in.  They appear as unearthly beautiful women (or men if needed), in their true form they stand 6' high and feature small horns, a tail and large bat-like wings growing from their backs.
A Succubus can cause Darkness 5', have Darkvision, can Dominate any one (1) PC and can become Incorporeal at will.  The Succubi lures her victim into acts of passion and drains their life force with a kiss.  This Energy Drain takes 1 life level/hit dice.  She can also use the following spells as a Witch (wizard) of 6th level, Charm Person, Detect Good, Continual Flame, ESP, Clairaudience, Hold Person, and Polymorph Self. Succubi also have Spell Resistance against fire based magic.  If pressed they can attack with two claw attacks (dagger -2), if each attack succeeds then she can also grapple for her energy drain attack/kiss.
A succubus can gate in another demon (expect another succubus) ... details in Eldritch Witchery.

Last Thoughts
Regardless of the game Succubi should be given the same attention that one would give a vampire in a horror game; that is treat it like a special NPC and build her as a character. Most demons can be part of the mindless hordes you send after the characters, and in most cases this is the appropriate thing to do.  Succubi though, since they tend to work alone and are very specialized in their hunts, should be built to suit. A succubus designed to go after William Swift in Ghosts of Albion should be different than the one sent after Dean Winchester in Supernatural.

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 1
Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 3

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Eludecia, the Succubus Paladin for Basic-era games

ePic Character Generator

Back in the 3.5 days there was this contest, the D&D Creature Competition. It was a fun little romp of pitting monster vs. monster in a bracket-style competition where people voted.  There were such mainstays as the Tarrasque, Meepo the Kobold, and a gelatinous cube, and some odd ones like a half gold dragon/half pixie, a warforged ninja, and Half-Amethyst Dragon/Iridescent Naga.  But the strangest one, and the one that eventually won was Eludecia, the Succubus Paladin.

Eludecia got a featured write-up and even an adventure centered around her, Legend of the Silver Skeleton.  I always thought the character was a really interesting one.  She is seeking redemption at a level that honestly staggers the mind. She has suffered (imprisoned inside a gelatinous cube to burn the entire time) and yet she is still trying to be better. She is a character I could see working quite well in D&D 5th edition.  But what about Basic-era D&D?  

Basic D&D: B/X or BECMI?

Lately, I have been playing an unholy hybrid of D&D B/X and BECMI and OSR.  It might not work for others, but for me it has been fantastic.

So I try to aim at a 1st to 14th level range, this allows me not to have to choose between B/X and BECMI level play.  I add in BECMI details when things get higher in level.  Thankfully for me, there are plenty of examples of Eludecia at levels 8th, 14th, and 18th level.  Once you figure her 6HD of Succubus this makes her 2nd, 8th, and 12th level Paladin.  That keeps her within the bounds of my B/X sweet spot.

In this version of Eludecia has been roaming the multiverse, seeking quests not to prove her worthiness, but to test it.  She has a shape-change ability, but she keeps her succubus features in the open so that everyone knows what she is.  To her, it is far more important to be truthful in her dealings with all mortals than to pass herself off as human.  She carries a holy sword, even though its touch hurts her. 

For her Basic build, I am going to start with the Succubus as presented in Eldritch Wizardry. Then I am going to add the Paladin class on top of that.  For the Paladin, there are a lot of choices including the BECMI Paladin in the Companion Rules or the OSE Paladin.  I think in the end I'll use the OSE Paladin and add in the BECMI material as needed.

The Eldritch Wizardry Succubus has the following features.

Succubi prefer to act alone and Eludecia is no different. In her case though it is because she knows her journey is a solo one. Only she can earn her redemption. Plus she knows she is a target by the forces of Evil and sometimes Good alike. She does not wish to put others in harm. She still has all her succubus powers; causing darkness, drain life, become ethereal, charm person, ESP, clairaudience, shape change, and gate.  She considers these powers to be tainted and will never use them, even to save her own life.  Her Gate ability will not work even if she tried, no demon will answer her summons. She does know this. She can't control her 70% magic resistance.

Her base AC is 9, movement is 40 (120), and 60 (180) flight. Her base HD is 6.  

I think for this build I want her a little higher level than her 3.5 days, so here she is now a 14th level Paladin. With her base 6HD this makes her a 20HD/level NPC.

Her base 3.5 stats are a little bit outside the realms of Basic D&D (unless I use some Companion or Immortal Rules).  
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 30

I'll re-scale these to Basic levels.

I also opted to make her blonde as a nod to Sheila Mullen the supposed "model" for the succubus in the AD&D Monster Manual. 

Eludecia, the Succubus Paladin

14th level Paladin, Lawful (Lawful Good)

Strength: 18 (+3)
Intelligence: 16 (+2 languages)
Wisdom: 14 (+1 on magic-based saves)
Dexterity: 14 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+1)
Charisma: 20 (likely it is a lot more) (+4)

Saving throws: D 2, W 3, P 4, B 3, S 6.  MR 70%

AC: 0 [19]
HP: 93 (6d8+6, 9d8+9,+10)
THAC0: 10 [+9]

Powers, Succubus: +2 weapons needed to hit, 70% magic resistance (these are powers she can't control)

Powers, Paladin: Divine Spells, Lay on Hands, Undead Turning

Equipment: Plate Armor +2, holy sword +3, holy symbol, normal shield


1st level: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Protection from Evil

2nd level: Bless, Hold Person

3rd level: Striking

How I Would Use Her

There is so much that could be done with this character. I guess that is why 15 years after she appeared I still find reasons to pull her out for things.

I am getting near the end of my HUGE Order of the Platinum Dragon campaign (more on that later) and presently the characters are stuck in the Abyss.  I think it is entirely possible that they might find her silver bones stuck in the Gelatinous Cube. The PCs could free her and gain an ally.  AND since I now have Basic-era stats for her, I can see her making an appearance in my new campaign, War of the Witch Queens.

Anyone ever use her in your own games?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Selfish Succubus

I picked up a copy of "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" last week. Instant Antagonists is a new product line from Flames Rising. Now full disclaimer here, I know Matt McElroy and I am a fan of his site and his work. IF you are a horror gamer you really can't help but be a fan really. Horror news, gaming news, interviews and now products like IA.

What is IA? Well it is actually a very cool idea. They spend a few pages to fully develop a character to use in any system. This is quite a good idea really. Most often you get character stats, but not much in the way of background or story. The IA aims to change that. So how do they do? Well I have the first one here.
Lily Sinclaire is a succubus. Not in the metaphorical sense, but a really honest-to-the-devil succubus and for whatever reason she is out of Hell and here to have a good time. In "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" we are introduced to Lily, also known as Lilis, through some fiction and a description. She is beautiful, looks and sounds exotic and has a prehensile tail. Yeah a tail. She has to cut it off every night, but otherwise it is a tail. In what might be a preview of how future Instant Antagonists might be like, we are given descriptions of how she looks, about how smart she might be. WE are also given insight to what they might be like, powerwise, through their systemless system of Mind, Body and Spirit. Things like "she thinks quickly on her feet", or "she knows a lot about ancient history". I found this to be a very effective way to describe the character. So I have an idea of what she might be like in say Tri-Stat or Unisystem, stats wise.
Multiple origins are given for her to help place her in your favorite system better. Or even as rumors about her. Despite the fact that the book is all fluff, there is no waste.
And finally there are story hooks, ways you can pull her into your game. Either as the titular antagonist or as someone the characters are likely to interact with. Though given how detailed Lily is, she likely to be elevated to the level of "Guest Star" and not "Monster of the Week". So all the plot hooks can be used one way or the other.
I think that the idea behind Instant Antagonists is a great one. Often times it is too easy to come up with stats and forget the character they are supposed to represent. Lily is the opposite. By presenting her as a character, sans stats, you are forced to think of her as a character, with background and motivations, first and not a collection of numbers.
So what would Lily look like. Mind you here is the other plus of this. I can make as powerful or as weak as I need her to be. Given this background I see Lily as a fringe player in the supernatural world. Yes she is evil, and yes she will need to be stopped sometime, but her introduction will be one of a succubus, freed from Hell making her way in the world. Like a demonic Mary Tyler Moore.
So let's build a Lily Sinclaire using Ghosts of Albion/Angel. Using the Mind-Body-Spirit guide in the book lets convert her to some stats. Her Mind says she knows a lot about ancient history, can manipulate others, has a lot of occult contacts. Ok, so To me that says a better than average Intelligence, say 3 or maybe 4, but maybe a higher Willpower and Perception. I would give her a higher level in some skills and maybe keep her Intelligence at 3. Body says she is very attractive, so Appearance 3, a good dexterity 3, but maybe only a 2 in strength. She has a high tolerance for drugs and alcohol (party girl) so a 4 in Constitution. Her Spirit supports a higher Willpower and even some obsessions or mental problems. She is a succubus, so she gets some demonic powers too. So where does that leave us? I fill in the rest with my own guesses and what I need her to do.

Name: Lily Sinclaire

Motivation: To get what she wants
Creature Type: Succubus (demon)
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Constitution 4, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Willpower 4
Life Points: 37
Drama Points: 15
Qualities and Drawbacks: Addictions (Sex 2), Adversaries (anyone that knows her true nature), Attractive 2, Contacts (Supernatural 3), Covetous (lecherous 2), Emotional Problems (Cruel 3, Arrogance 2), Hard to Kill 1, Immortal, Innate Magic, Regeneration, Resources (Well off), Secrets (3, many), Supernatural Form (1, has a tail)
Skills: Armed Mayhem 1, Art 2, Athletics 3, Crime 3, Driving/Riding 1, Engineering 1, Fisticuffs 2, Influence 4, Knowledge 5, Languages 4 (English, Latin, Sumerian, Greek), Marksmanship 0, Notice 4, Occultism 4, Physician 1, Science 1.

Name Score Damage Notes
Dodge +5 Defense action
Grapple +7 Resisted by Dodge
Punch +5 4 Bash

We can also do her up for Witch Girls Adventures using the same guidelines, though I am going to have to guess about her magic and what powers succubi have in this world.

Lily Sinclair, Succubus
Rank: 3
Body: d6 Mind: d6 Senses: d8
Will: d8 Social: d8 Magic: d6
Life Points: 12 Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 9 Zap Points: 12
Skills: Athletics +2, Basics +2, Dancing +4, Fighting +1, Hear +1, Leader +3, Look +2, Magic Etiquette +2, Mundane Etiquette +3, Mysticism +2, Mythology +4, Streetwise +3
Abilities: Beautiful, Mysterious
Heritage: Demon
Spells: Lily does not know any spells save those magics all Succubi can use.

Looking forward to more.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

#AtoZChallenge2021: I is for Incubus

The Nightmare, Fuseli
Something a little different today.  Different in that I talk a lot about the Succubus, but never really anything at all about their male counterpart the Incubus.  Since my next book after the Basic Bestiary is going to be about Demons and Devils, I figure I better get one detailed here.

The Monster Manual and medieval demonologies are replete with all sorts of "male" demons. The Monster Manual itself only has two female demons, the succubus and marilith, and only one female devil, the Erinyes. Four if you include the Night Hag (but more on that later).  Because of this, I have never really seen a need for the Incubus.  There is one "Species" the Succubus and she can shapeshift however she feels fit.  And for what it is worth that is still true.  Though I got to thinking what if the incubus was something else.

Going back to my cover, Fuseli's The Nightmare, there is an imp sitting on the chest of a sleeping woman while a ghostly horse, a Nightmare, looks on.  There are two versions of this painting, but both are the same.

The creature on her is an incubus. This got me thinking.  What if the incubus is NOT the male version of this:


But rather the demonic version of this:


An incubus is an imp-like demon that is a demonic mockery of the cherubic cupids of Renaissance and Victorian art. 

I like it to be honest. They invade women's dreams and appear to be a tall strapping male that makes love to them all night, leaving them drained (Constitution drain).  They are kin to the Succubi (they are both Lilim) and might even be the offspring of succubi and humans.

Now...I am still working on a few things for the demon book.  One of the reasons they are not in the Basic Bestiary is because I have not worked out all the issues with their stat blocks and all the demonic families I have.  I mean are succubi Chaotic Evil, Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil?  I have seen them done all three ways.  Is the Lamia a monster or are they demons?  Still too many unanswered questions.  But until then, here is an Incubus.

The Nightmare, Fuseli 1781
Small Fiend (Demonic, Lilim)

Frequency: Very Rare
Number Appearing: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaotic [Neutral Evil]
Movement: 90' (30') [9"]
    Fly: 120' (40') [12"]
   Spirit: 240' (80') [18"]
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 5d8+15** (38 hp)
   Small:  5d6+15** (33 hp)
THAC0: 15 (+5)
Attacks: 1 claw or special
Damage: 1d4
Special: See below
Save: Monster 5
Morale: 10 (8)
Treasure Hoard Class: None
XP: 575 (OSE) 660 (LL)

The incubus is sometimes considered to be the male counterpart to the succubus.  While a succubus can change shape to male, the incubus is a different, but a related creature.  Like the succubus, the incubus can invade the dreams of their victims.  This is often how they make their first contact with the victim.  In this form, the incubus is merely a spirit and cannot attack or damage.  But once they have made contact and their victim, usually a woman of pure and good standing, they will begin their nightly visits.

The incubus can appear as any sort of creature or person the woman desires.  If that desire is say forbidden such as the love of a man married to her sister or the head of a church, then incubus' connection will be stronger. During these nightly visits, the incubus will drain 1 point of Constitution from the victim.   Any incubus typically has a few victims he sees every night, so one sign of an incubus problem would be many women wasting away over the course of a week.  When they reach zero Constitution the incubus will take their soul to be bartered in the lower planes.  

The true form of an incubus is that of a gargoyle-like imp creature about 3' to 3½' tall. It has small leathery bat-like wings, a pinched evil little face with a mouth full of sharp teeth, and tiny hands with small sharp claws. They are covered in fur and smell of soured milk, body odor, odor, and brimstone. 

An Exorcism spell will remove their spirit forms.  A Protection from Evil spell will keep them at bay for the duration.  They can only be harmed by magic or magical weapons. Killing an incubus sends it back them the lower planes. Once the threat is abolished victims can heal at the rate of 1 Constitution point of bed rest each week. 

Talismans and amulets that protect wearers from demons will work, but only if they are specifically crafted for incubi or succubi. 


Not bad.  Not 100% perfect yet, but I have some time.  I still need to work in magic resistance and what demonic abilities all Lilim share. 

The Incubus has three different kinds of movement and of course, has the reduced hp of a small creature.

April 2021 A to Z

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Devil's Nightmare (1971)

The Devil's Nightmare (1971)

This is the movie I thought I was going to watch earlier tonight.

This is an older one and one I had seen before, but have had a difficult time finding it.   When I first saw it, years ago, it was under the title "The Succubus".  This BluRay transfer is a bit better than a copy I saw just a couple years ago.  I noticed I have talked about it, but never gave it a proper review.  I did give it a brief review while watching some 70s horror films a few years back. I figure I should pop it in.  Plus it is a "Succubus Sunday" so let's have it.

The DVD transfer I had is good, but not great, transfer.  Still a lot of hisses and pops from the source. But still viewable. It does seem to have some material cut from it, or I am remembering it wrong.

The Blu-Ray is fantastic. Also, it has all the scenes I remembered.

We start the movie with a woman giving birth in Nazi Germany near the end of WWII.  The woman's father is a Nazi officer and wants to know if the child is a boy or a girl.  The woman dies in childbirth but the baby survives...until the Nazi officer stabs and kills the baby.

The story follows a group of seven tourists as they become waylaid in a creepy German castle.  Turns out the Baron of the castle is the same Nazi officer from the beginning.

The guests gather and we begin to learn a little about each one.  As they begin to talk about the family curse the Baron is under, another guest, Lisa Müller, arrives.  One known to the housekeeper, Martha.  In pure succubus fashion, she is a beautiful redhead with blue eyes.  I'll be honest, I watched this movie for the first time early in my D&D years so a lot of what a succubus *is* for me comes from this movie. Or. Rather, my memory of this movie.

Each guest is revealed to represent each of the seven deadly sins. The deaths are really what makes this movie fun.  Seven Deadly sins deaths years before Brad Pitt screamed: "What's in the box!"  Makes it worth seeing again.

As soon as six of the guests die, the remaining living guest, the seminarian, Alvin Sorelle, trades his own soul to Satan to bring the other guests back to life.  There is a nice twist at the end which really makes the movie memorable.

The succubus, Lisa, was played by cult horror figure Erika Blanc.  Her demonic make-up effects are both understated and extremely effective.  While I know others could see them as cheap, I rather liked it.  Plus regardless, Erika Blanc is great to look at.  It is no shock looking back on this that I have had so many witchy characters with red hair and blue eyes.

The BluRay is so much better than the old VHS I watched back in the 80s and the DVD copy I watched just a couple of years back.  Well worth getting. Mondo Macabro really puts out a great disc.

I was doing a bit of reading before posting and I noticed that "The Unholy" with Ben Cross is a similar themed movie. I will have to check it out.

Watched: 21
New: 13

Ok. Now I am dragging.  Succubi are a fantastic choice in NIGHT SHIFT.  So much so I am planning on posting more about them.  But later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Areelu Vorlesh, Witch Queen of the Worldwound

I picked up some Pathfinder minis a while back and this succubus in the mix that I did not recognize.  She also had a proper name, Areelu Vorlesh.  Imagine my joy when I discovered she was not only a succubus (well half succubus) but also a witch!

A trio of wicked witches, Iggwilv, Areelu, and Skylla
Turns out she is also a major NPC baddie in Pathfinder, the primary architect of the Worldwound in Golarion.  I am not sure what happens to her there, but she would really be a perfect addition to my War of the Witch Queens.  Plus I already have her mini!  Now I just need a Wayne Reynolds print on my wall.

Her Pathfinder stats are crazy. She is a 10th level witch, 10th level demoniac and an 8th level archmage.  Plus she has a lot of her half-succubus powers.  She has some truly outrageous stats too.

Areelu Vorlesh
The human that would become the witch Areelu Vorlesh has been lost to time. It was known that she was a witch in Deskari’s cult.  She was researching the nature of the separation of the worlds and planes (Plot hook!).  It was her success at opening the Worldwound that caused her Patron to transform her into a half-fiend.

Areelu Vorlesh (28th level witch)
The Witch

Strength: 14 Death Ray, Poison 3
Dexterity: 18 Magic Wands 4
Constitution: 18 Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone 3
Intelligence: 18 Dragon Breath 6
Wisdom: 18 Rods, Staffs, Spells 5
Charisma: 19

Hit Points: 73
Alignment: Chaotic (Evil)
AC: -2 (Bracers of Defense, +3 Amulet of Protection)

Occult Powers (Malefic Tradition)
Familiar: "Gimcrak" (Quasit, Enhanced)
7th level: Evil's Touch
13th level: Devil's Tongue
19th level: Curse
25th level: Polymorph Other

Succubus Powers
Fly (at normal movement rate).
Drain Constitution (1 point).
Immune to fire damage and poison.
Half damage from cold and electricity.
Takes double damage from "holy" items.

Cantrips (7): Arcane Mark, Detect Curse, Ghost Sound, Mend Minor Wounds, Message, Spark, Summon Vermin

First (8+3): Bewitch I, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Command, Increase Sex Appeal, Mend Light Wounds, Protect Familiar, Quicken Healing, Shattering the Hourglass, Silver Tongue, Spirit Dart

Second (8+2): Ecstasy, Enhanced Familiar, Enthrall, Evil Eye, Hold Person, Invisibility, Phantasmal Spirit, Rite of Remote Seeing, Scare, Twisting the Heartstrings II

Third (7+2): Bestow Curse, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Enlarge Familiar, Feral Spirit, Fly, Ghost Ward, Tongues, Witch Wail

Fourth (7+2): Abomination, Charm Monster, Confusion, Divine Power, Intangible Cloak of Shadows, Moonlit Way, Phantom Lacerations, Spiritual Dagger, Withering Touch

Fifth (6): Baleful Polymorph, Feeblemind, Greater Command, Nightmare, Teleport, Waves of Fatigue

Sixth (6): Bewitch VI, Break the Spirit, Geas, Mass Suggestion, Repulsion, True Seeing

Seventh (5): Draw Forth the Soul, Eternal Charm Monster, Maze, Binding Ritual (Ritual), Gate (Ritual)

Eighth (5): Bewitch VIII, Damming Stare, Destroy Life, Wail of the Banshee, Imprisonment (Ritual)

So this version of Areelu Vorlesh is pretty powerful, though still not as powerful as the Pathfinder version (551 hp!) but still a very formidable foe and a worthy Witch Queen.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Undead: I Don't Like Level Drain

I don't like level draining attacks from Undead.

I have never liked them.  I also don't like 3.x "Negative" levels solution either, although it is getting closer.

See "Level" to me has always been an abstraction, a short hand way of saying you are of a certain skill and power.  But the level itself doesn't mean anything.  Loosing them is not even properly scary. Really it isn't.
Play some Call of Cthulhu or Kult where there is no such thing and I can tell you, things are scary enough.

I also don't like them since it has nothing to do with why an undead needs them or even would be able to do this.  If you say the undead "feed" on levels I counter with "ok, why do they even bother with 0-level humans?" OR more to the point, how do 0-level humans survive as long as they can/could/need-to-for-plot-reasons?

Take the example of Dracula.  Are you saying Lucy, who we can assume was attacked by Dracula multiple times, but let's just say three, was at least 6-level?  6th level in what? Mina and Harker too?

Lets look at this from the perspective of a low-level character.  Loosing a level is bad news.  How about from a higher level one, well...bad yes, but not as bad.
Look at the example of the Magic-User.  At 8th level they can cast 2 4th level spells, but after a vampire attack they...forgot them?  Ok so memory loss is not an uncommon thing after an attack, but something that specific?  Ok, so maybe you can stretch and justify it there, what about a Cleric.  He doesn't memorize spells, he prays for them. Now after an attack from a vampire he is no longer worthy for these magics?  Lost me there.

For me, level drain never made much sense at all.  If it is an abstraction of "Life Force" then we already have that in something much more precious than a level and it fits better.  Ability Scores.

Constitution is listed in the AD&D 1 Player's Handbook as:
"Constitution is a term which encompasses the character’s physique, fitness, health, and resistance. Since constitution affects the character‘s hit dice and chances of surviving such great system shocks as being changed by magic spell or resurrected from the dead, it is of considerable importance to all classes."
Instead of levels I say Vampires (and I'll get to other undead) should drain 2 points of Constitution.  It fits better.  The more blood loss you have the weaker you become.  The less likely you will survive a system shock.

Let's say the average Constitution Score for everyone is 10.  Some one like Lucy, described as frail and weak might only be an 8 or even a 6.  Certainly enough to survive multiple attacks, not more than say oh... three.  Mina, who is described as robust and full of life survives more attacks.

The draining attack needs to be tied into the type of undead, how it was made and what it needs.  We already have a precedent for it; the AD&D Shadow drains Strength.  Vampires, who feed on blood (or was that forgotten in AD&D?) should feed on Constitution.  Other undead then fall in line.

The Monsters

Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls and Ghasts
The various members of the "Walking Dead" typically do not have drain attacks, though some could have fear based ones.  Zombies, Ghouls and Ghasts can also number among the "Hungry Dead" where they eat the flesh, living or dead, of others.

Ghosts, Banshees, Poltergeists
These creatures feed on fear for the most part, so causing fear is their primary goal.  The Banshee can kill with her scream and the Ghost can prematurely age a victim.
Drain: None.
Restore: Damaging, HP restored as normal, aging can be reversed

The mere touch of a Lich is a paralyzing cold attack that has less to do with actual temperature and more to do with the chill beyond the grave.
Drain: None. Paralyzing
Restore: Damaging, HP restored as normal

The rotting disease of the mummy is well known, but mummies can also attack via a draining attack.  This attack, sometimes known as the Mummy's Curse, will drain the victim of Dexerity and Charisma.  Worse yet, the curse is applied after only 1 successful attack and the the abilities are drained at the rate of 1 point each per day till one of them reached 0.  At this point the victim dies and can not be raised.  They will then on the next full moon become a zombie.
Drain: 1 point of Dexterity and Charisma.
Restore: Remove Curse, Heal or Wish only.

Shadow already drain Strength.  As intangible, incorporeal creatures they lack the physicality needed to interact with the world.  Draining Strength then makes them feel more alive, but it is temporary.
Drain: 1 point of Strength.
Restore: Natural healing, 1 point per hour of rest.


These frightful ghostly shades are the result of a curse. They are removed from the physical world, but loathe it.  Like the Shadow, the Spectre drains away Strength, but it can also drain Wisdom.  Strength is lost much the same way and for the same reasons as a Shadow.  Wisdom, the center of reason, is drained because it was something the Spectre lacked to get itself cursed in such a way.
Drain: 1 point of Strength or Wisdom
Restore: Magical healing via Restoration or Heal spell.

These apex undead predators feed on the life force of their victims.  They drain the blood (and thus the Constitution) from their victims.  A vampire can choose to drain 2 points of Constitution per attack, but many will toy with their victims, draining only once per night.
Drain: 2 points of Constituion
Restore: Natural healing, 1 point per week of complete bed-rest.

Most wights were soldiers or fighters in their lives.  Some of that keen intelligence lives on in undead flesh.  Since their lives were cut short due to their physical prowess, or lack thereof, the wight jealously steals Strength from it's victims.  It does this with a cold touch from beyond the grave.
Drain: 1 point of Strength
Restore: Magical healing via Restoration or Heal spell.

The Wraith is a more power incorporeal undead than the shadow, but not quite the twisted evil of the Spectre.  The wraith attempts to drain any ability score it can, targeting the lowest score and draining it till the victim reaches 0.  They do this not so much out of malice, though that is certainly true, but because they need the life force the ability provides.
Drain: 1 point of lowest Ability Score.
Restore: Magical healing via Restoration or Heal spell.

The kiss of the succubus is as deadly as it is desirable.  Men (and women) who have survived it can barely describe it, but all agree that no mortal embrace can ever compare again.  While the succubus can withhold the draining feature of her amorous attack at will, she won't often do so.  This is because the attack of the succubus will drain Wisdom as well as Constitution.  Any victim that has lost more than 1/3 of their total Wisdom score becomes hopelessly in the thrall of the succubus. Only a Wish or similar magic can save them.  Once the succubus has used up her pawn she may opt to drain Constitution as well or only to finish of the hapless mortal and return to her master with their soul.

Drain: 1 point of Wisdom and Constitution, or 2 points of Wisdom or 2 points of Constitution
Restore: Magical healing, till 1/3 is lost then only via a Wish

Guidelines for Abilities Drained
Other undead or other demons may also have a level draining attack, here is how to convert those attacks to  Ability Draining and how to choose which ability is the most appropriate.

Strength or Dexterity: Any attack where the creature is incorporeal, lacking a true body or is otherwise reminded of their own past physical life. Ex. Shadows and Wraiths lack true physical forms and Wights were mostly fighters.

Constitution: The basis of life-force.  It is used in system survival roles and adds to hitpoints.  Any creature that drains life will drain Con.

Wisdom: The basis of willpower and the desire to continue on.  Also the "mature" side of our minds. People with less wisdom give in to temptation easier.

Intelligence: The domain of the mind. Anything to do with mental prowess, psychic awareness or magical talent lies here.  Ex. Mind Flayers feed on the minds of others, they "eat" Intelligence.

Charisma: The personality of the character.  Also tied to willpower.  Some faerie creatures will drain the life and personality out of a person by draining their Charisma.  Ex. The Leanan Sidhe or Psychic vampires.

There are certainly other ways to do this and we can even argue which ability various undead can drain.  But I think ability drain is far superior to level drain.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lilith and Lilim

Lilith by Isra2007
Lilith.  Ah, Lilith.

I have written so much about her over the last 20 years I hardly even know where to start today.

For those that don't know, Lilith is from the ancient Talmud and Jewish texts as the First Woman.  The woman created before Eve at the same time as Adam.  She rebelled against God and Adam and became her own thing.  She is not really a demon, but something else.

As a horror author who loves witches, demons and vampires, Lilith is all of those rolled up into one thing.
As an Atheist, Lilith is a great example of a "glitch" in the "Source code" of the bible.  Contradictions in the text that show that Genesis was even written by a number of different people over the ages.
As someone that considers themselves a feminist she is a "recent" icon.  In short what is not to love?

Lilith was a major character in my "Willow & Tara" game Season of the Witch (a Buffy game where I playtested the rules for Ghosts of Albion).  Characters (and players) didn't know if she was the Big Bad or on their side. In the end she was on her own side, but was not after the characters.

In my "Willow & Tara" games Lilith plays not just a central role in the events of the season, but in my revised mythos of world.  Lilith was not just the "mother of demons" and possibly the mother of vampires. She is also the mother of all witches and even the Slayer.  (See "Every Angel is Terrifying").  I like it since it gets rid of Whedon's overt rape metaphor and makes the Buffy game more compatible with the mythos of the WitchCraft game.

Back in the 2nd Edition AD&D days I "created" a new race of demons called the Lilim.  They were the "Daughters of Lilith" and included the Succubi and a number of related all female demons.  I later used these demons in my Buffy/Willow & Tara games "The Dragon and the Phoenix" and "Season of the Witch" along with Lilith herself.

I am revising these races once again for Eldritch Witchery.

Lilith by John Collier
These demons have their creative origins from Lilith, but also the Lilin, Lilu, and Lamashtu.  I have included creatures such as the succubus, the night hags and other related creatures.

The Lilim are an old race of demons, though some scholars debate on whether they are a true race unto themselves or not.  Lilim are also known as the daughters of Lilith, the “Queen of Demons”. A title she abhors.  Each subrace of Lilim is believed to have come from Lilith herself and her congress with other demon types such as the Baalseraph, Eodemons and Shedim.

The Lilim all share a number of unique qualities in addition to the powers all demons share. Lilim are also fully immune to poison and poses Nightvision instead of Darkvision.
All Lilim have a draining attack, as detailed below.  Most Lilim can switch between a “human” and a “demonic” form.  The human form allows them to infiltrate society and collect the souls they require.  Any time the lilim is under stress or in combat she will revert to her demonic form.  Both types of forms are detailed below.
Nearly all Lilim can cast spells as if she were a witch.

Alrunes: These demons are legion. It is most commonly believed that they are the offspring of nymphs, sayyrs and other fey with other Lilim, in particular Succubi. A succubus will sometimes shape change to a male to seduce fey creatures, and sometimes they are even seduced themselves. These demons have only the most basic of the powers of the Lilim and indeed they only have one form, a “human” one.  Though many have features can give away their demonic heritage.  They posses small vestigial horns, wings and sometimes even a tail.  Most opt for some demonic form of witchcraft.  Like all members of this demonic race they are female.  Of all the Lilim only Alrunes are not wholly evil, though very, very few are ever good.  Alrunes do not have a draining attack per se, but their kiss can lure a victim into a deep sleep as per the spell.

Batibat: These are among the weakest of the Lilim.  They prey on people in their dreams.  They house themselves in a tree near where their victim is sleeping and invade their dreams.  They have only a weak physical attack (1-3 hp) but their dream attack requires a Wisdom saving throw each night or the victim looses 1 point of Constitution.  When their victim dies (reaches 0 Constitution) they can summon a Nightmare and return to their master with the soul.  During the day they sleep in their tree and are helpless. These deams appear to be small, elfin like women and are sometimes mistaken for a dryad.  Their hair though is dark black.

Empusa: These are the daughters of Lilith and various calabim demons, most likely the Utukku.. They are the most “demonic” of all of the Lilim.  The Empusae (or “forcers-in”) like all Lilim can appear as a stunningly beautiful woman or as a demon.  The demonic form of the Empusa is the one of the most hideous of all of the Lilim.  The body remains mostly humanoid and female, but covered in fine scales.  It’s legs become like those of an horse or ass and end in hooves that are made of brass or bronze.  It’s back supports a set of large leathery bat-like wings, similar to that of a succubus.  It is its head that features it’s most horrible transformation.  The creature’s long following tresses are replaced with a mass of snakes similar to that of a medusa.  It’s facial features are blocked by an area of complete darkness, only it’s glowing eyes are visible.  It is said among sages that face of the empusa is not shrouded in darkness, but it is so horrible that our minds block the vision from us.  It is also said that other demons can actually see the empusa’s face and run in fear from it.  Its former delicate hands now end in razor tipped claws.  A long reptilian tail completes the picture.
An empusa can appear as human or it can also shape shift into a large dire wolf (statistics as per Dire Wolf).  Unlike the combat shy succubus, empusae live for battle. They can either use their natural claw/claw/bite routine or use a flaming sword that strikes for 2d6 points of damage plus 1d6 of flame damage.  Empusa gain to hit and damage bonuses due to their high strength (21) as well.
The touch of an empusa drains the Intelligence of the victim at 1 point per bare handed, not weaponed, attack.

Lamashtu: Are powerful demons, close only to the Lilitu themselves.  Believed to be the offspring of Lilth and the various Eodemons. These demons are old even by demonic terms.  Their natural form is a horrid hybrid of a linoness’ head, donkey ears and teeth, a hairy human female body, with the hind quarters of a pig.  They are commonly holding a large snake.  In their “human” form they prefer to disguise themselves as old women or nursemaids.  This gives them access to their preferred prey, new born babies.  Once she has gained access to  a new-born babe she will carry it off till she can find a safe place to eat it.  Lamashtu are not tempters, they hunger and only flesh will satisfy them.  They can be held at bay if a witch prepares a special talisman.    Her song drains Constitution to all who hear it, 2 points per night.  Anyone so drained must make a Consititution based save or fall asleep.  
Lamashtu may cast spells as a 7th level witch.

Lamiae: Lamiae can appear as any female type humanoid they choose.  They typically choose to emulate humans and elves of high charisma.  Their demonic form is less innocent.  The Lamiae has the same upper body of a beautiful woman, but her features have become twisted to show only evil.  The lower half of the creature becomes serpentine.  This gives them a look similar to the Marilith,  much to both races displeasure and distaste.  Other Lamiae appear to be women with the lower body of a lion.  It is believed they are the offspring of Lilith and various Animal Lords. 
Lamiae will most often attack her prey when they are sleeping.  They have a song that acts a sleep spell cast as a Witch of 14th level.  They may use this song once per day.  Lamiae then embrace their victim to drain their wisdom or blood (1d6 hit points).  Typically a lamiae will spend many nights corrupting a single man by draining his wisdom, all the while laying with other men to drain them of their blood.  A Lamiae will not let the corpses stack up to betray her nature. 
If forced into combat a Lamiae can use a weapon or change to her normal form and use a claw/claw/bite routine. A Lamiae will avoid open combat at all costs except to save her own life.  She would rather poison a rival, or better yet, get someone else to do the killing for her. 
While a Lamiae can gate in 1-4 Empusa to aid her, she rarely does.  But if her life is threatened she can and has a 1-4 on a 1d6 chance.
Lamiae drain Wisdom, up to 2 points per touch.  The touch must be with their bare hand and not a damage causing hit.

Lilitu: The Lilitu are not only the most powerful of the Lilim, but they may be among the most powerful demons, outside of the Balor. The Lilitu are the daughters of the Goddess Lilith and powerful spirits.  Every Lilitu are millennia old. A Lilitu’s human form is unearthly beautiful. Unnaturally tall, they have perfect voices and skins.  Their beauty is only matched by their minds; intelligent, witty and full of grace. Their personalities are in a word, formidable.  Of course this is all a façade, the Lilitu are demonic and should not be underestimated. Their demonic form is very similar to that of their human form.  Their beauty remains, but their unearthliness becomes apparent.   A set of large dark feathered wings spring from their back, alternately described as looking owl or crow like. Their once fine fingers curl into razor sharp talons.  Their legs are replaced with those of a giant predatory bird complete with claws for feet.  Despite appearances lilitu are not related to harpies and to suggest so to one invites certain death.
Lilitu do not avoid combat.  While they would rather have someone else do their fighting, they are perfectly capable of protecting themselves. Lilitu can attack open handed with both hands or with a weapon in both hands with no penalty.  They are also preternaturally strong (Strength = 20) and gain the appropriate bonuses to hit and damage.  Their touch or kiss can drain 2 points of Strength and 2 points of Constitution per hit.
Lilitu may also cast spells as if she were a 10th level Witch.

Moromo: The Mormo, or Momolyceia (“frightening wolves”), may the most frightening of the Lilim.
The mormo can appear fair and beautiful, but such forms are only an illusion, their demonic form is horrible to behold. The are tall, 7’-8’ feet tall and appear to much like a type of hag.  Their lower half is that of a wolf and they have a set of large bat-like wings on their backs.  The mormo is covered with a fine coat of gray or black hair.  Their hands end in long talon like nails and their mouths are filled with large, sharp canine fangs.
The Mormo have no fear of combat, in fact they relish in it..  They can fight in their demonic form with a claw, claw, bite routine.  She may also choose a weapon, but rarely do. They can also drain Strength points.  Typically they withhold this power to use among her victims; draining a point here and a point there to keep them weak in body so that she can work on their wills.
Like the Empusa, the Mormo feeds on human blood and human children.

Night Hags: Night hags spend much of their time moving between the worlds of men and that of demons.  They are the couriers of souls of humans to their demonic lords and can found in the employ of any demon greater in power to themselves.  Though night hags have their pride and only sell their services to most power of the demon lords and ladies.  Since most Lilim have little regard for their “sisters” Night Hags are most often found with Shedim or Baalseraph masters.
The Night Hag appears as other Lilim, as a tall humanoid female, but unlike the others they do not have a natural “beautiful” form and must accomplish that with any magic they have.  Night Hags can cast as a Witch of 8th level.   In addition to the powers in common with all Lilim night hags can cause a deep paralysis so they may drain a victim of their vital essence (constitution, 1 point per night).
They have a claw/claw attack, but avoid using it since their goal is to drain their victims to 0 Constitution. Night hags also have a horrible bite that can inflict a disease known as Demon Fever.  This fever causes an additional 1d6 points of Constitution damage and leaves the victim bed ridden.
Night hags also may form coveys with other hags if they choose.  Occult scholars have not determined why this might be the case, but many speculate that night hags are the offspring of other lilim and the more common hags.

Succubi: Succubi are the most common of the Lilim.  These female demons are not found in great numbers and never working together.  These demons, while not physically very powerful, are capable of controlling other demons that are far more powerful.  Succbi are charged with the tempting of mortals, a task they relish in.  They appear as unearthly beautiful women (or men if needed), in their true form they stand 6' high and feature small horns, a tail and large bat-like wings growing from their backs.
A Succubus can cause Darkness 5', have Nightvision, can Dominate any one (1) PC and can become Incorporeal at will.  The succubi lures her victim into acts of passion and drains their life force with a kiss.  This Energy Drain takes 1 life level/hit dice.  She can also use the following spells as a Witch of 6th level, Charm Person, Detect Good, Continual Flame, ESP, Clairaudience, Hold Person, and Polymorph Self. Succubi also have Spell Resistance against fire based magic.  If pressed they can attack with two claw attacks (dagger -2), if each attack succeeds then she can also grapple for her energy drain attack/kiss.
A succubus can gate in another demon (expect another succubus) but prefer not too since that would compel the succubus to a service for that demon or it’s master. 
They can also with a touch, kiss or embrace drain 1d6 points of strength and constitution.  Often this accomplished by touch as the Lilitu see humans as little more than animals.  As with all Lilim, they choose whether or not their touch will drain life energy or not.

Posts about Lilith here:
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: Succubus (1968)

I thought for sure I had seen this movie.  It is a little earlier than my "sweet spot" of movies, but it is a Jesús Franco movie and it is about a Succubus (maybe). So yeah feels like something I would have seen.
Well not so much.

Succubus, also called "Necronomicon – Geträumte Sünden" has nothing to do with Lovecraft and maybe nothing to do with succubi.

The lovely (and almost 40 at the time) Janine Reynaud plays Lorna, the star act of a live S&M show at some seedy European nightclub. A voice-over by the club owner leads us to believe that Lorna here has sold her soul to the devil.  She is called "Faustina" at various points and  "the essence of evil... a devil on earth!"

Lorna manages to move through the movie is a semi-languid daze, that is when she is not killing people she almost has sex with.  There is plenty of nudity, drugs, and killings.  You are never sure if Lorna is possessed by a demon or just crazy.  Either could be true.

Since this is a Jesús Franco flick Jeanine Reynaud is front and center and spends more time undressed than dressed.  She is supposed to be a succubus after all.

The ending is also what should be expected. But it is still a fun romp. Very 60s.

Watched: 19
New: 13

I am thinking a longer post about Succubi in NIGHT SHIFT is in order.