So I’m going to have an encounter this weekend where the party is going into the mountains to confront a demon…

So I’m going to have an encounter this weekend where the party is going into the mountains to confront a demon…

So I’m going to have an encounter this weekend where the party is going into the mountains to confront a demon rumored to dwell there. Its been established through Spout Lore that the demon lures people there with promises of treasure, only for them to never return. We have no wizard or cleric in the group to magically disrupt the demon, however there is a bard and the paladin has taken immunity to enchantments on his quest to slay it. What I’m searching for are interesting ideas or input as to what the demon should do to the party. I already thought of separating them all in their own illusions of treasure, minus the Paladin who would just be on his own in the real lair. What do you guys think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

18 thoughts on “So I’m going to have an encounter this weekend where the party is going into the mountains to confront a demon…”

  1. Have the demon take over or substitute for one of the players unbeknownst to the others. You’d need the player to play along without giving it away. Theoretically, the demon could lure them into traps, etc. I’m not partial to separating them since I think it will slow down play and reduce interplayer interactions.

  2. Remember to think outside the box as well. The players may Spout Lore or Discern Realities to determine a way or to find an object that will help them disrupt the demon magically. It doesn’t necessarily mean the demon has to be immune to them (unless you specifically want that), so long as they have to work for the answer – and that could be the entire encounter right there. Maybe it chases them deeper into the catacombs with false promises of treasure as well as this magical object and the players have the choice to keep going to find that secret altar room with the magical object but, in doing so, they also discover that they are affected by more mental or physical harm as a direct result.

    Totally just spitballing.

  3. I think the Demon is the gateway to another magical land.  A land where things are really pretty good and the temptations to stay are very strong.  A land of plenty.  Wine, women, song, men… plenty of food and a progressive society.  Magic abounds.  It is not a perfect land, but it is a sight better than being murder-hobos in a land of death and destruction.  

     Can the heroes withstand the good life and return to a life of strife?  What matters to the players?  What are their heart’s desires?  Give it to them and see if they can come back.  

    Killing the demon could destroy that land, sacrificing thousands.  Can the heroes make those sacrifices?

  4. Storn Cook I like this idea, maybe expand the old Twilight Zone idea that hell is where you get everything you want until you go mad with boredom. The party must escape the lonely demon and “paradise”.

  5. The most interesting thing probably is to try to figure out what the party really really wants, and offer it to them.  Maybe the demon really can give it to them, and maybe it really will, in exchange for a mere five years of their life.  Maybe it’s playing a long game, and for targets as juicy as the PCs, it’s willing to give out the first wish for free.  Maybe the Lore they got was sort of offbase, and it’s the promises of treasure that are real, and the “never return” part was exaggerated.

    You probably know which character will most easily succumb to the temptation.  Find a way to split the party, and tempt them on their own.

    It’s well established in the DW rules that illusions are a different category than enchantments (look at the Wizard spell list) , so you can go nuts there.  Illusionary treasure, illusionary floors, illusionary traps.  Illusionary imps that follow them around, mixed with the occasional real imp once they start ignoring the illusions.

  6. The paladin maybe immune to enchantments but that doesn’t mean its immune to the demon trying to offer them real treasure be that physical or what the paladin would love. And we GMs do love trying to corrupt a paladin.

  7. I had in my campaign a Devil who was one of the most terrifing enemys i ever had.

    He was a true silvertongue and tried to lure each party member into helping him but he never lied and he did call out real dilemmas for the Characters.

    For example: He offered the Paladin of the Group to involve him in a real battle where he could get famous and maybe even save the World. And he didnt even say something wrong he just wanted him to kill Demons (the arch-enemy of the devils) in the process. But since both are evil it wouldnt make a difference. It was really hard for him to decline.

    They never accepted his tempts but it was always hard for them because he always just wanted to help them but he only came when there was something they could do to further his own goals and theirs at the same time.

    No Enchantments needed.

  8. I like the idea of the cave being a portal, since the player’s spout lore determined no one had ever returned. I picture it as a portal to the realm of hell that punishes those who let their greed get the best of them. Therefore the danger of the cave really lies in the players succumbing to the temptations within, more than the demon itself, since it will have the devious tag. I think the initial temptation will be a danger in itself, but they run the risk of magical persuasion (enchantment) from the hidden demon if they try to reject the illusion. The Paladin would obviously be immune to the persuasion, but the initial illusion would still be there to tempt him as well. He is on a quest to purify the currently corrupted Holy Avenger, so I have the bait I need to make his part interesting already. Very good input from you guys, feel free to give more as we won’t be playing until Saturday. 🙂

  9. To me, the important question that no one has asked is “Why is the demon doing this?”

    Nefarious villains are much more enjoyable when they have a reason they’re being so nefarious.

  10. Joseph F. Russo One of the interesting things that you learn is that the “Devil” in the bible and Jewish lore at least seems to actual be Gods right hand man when it comes to testing people”s faith, basically God is testing Jobs faith in him by having the Devil do those horrible things, kind of a weird version of “well would you like me even in these circumstances” I think thats a lot more facinating then the devil actually being evil

  11. So maybe this cave used to be a locations where the faithful came to test their faith, but that faith and people’s rememberence of the true nature of the cave has been lost in time and the rumours are just that demons are there to tempt you and eat your souls…when in actuality they have really been just doing their job,

  12. In my idea, the demon being a portal to a promise land, is that the demon’s life is tied to the land.  The more it thrives, the better he does.  So of course he wants more folks to come and live there… to a point.  I’m stealing this idea from the very thought-provoking fantasy world of the 12 Kingdoms (anime) where the rulers of each kingdom is actually tethered to the land and vice versa…when a king goes mad, so does the land and it suffers.  It is the ultimate noblisse obligese and it is kinda fucked up.  Something the main character really struggles with in 12 Kingdoms.

    But also like the idea of subverting what is a demon and it being a real catalyst for PC change and adaption.  

  13. I should probably give some backstory to this. The cave is more of a side quest. My PCs fought one of the big bad guy’s henchmen that turned out to be an old PC that is being controlled magically. He also still had the cursed blade he obtained from the previous campaign, which an NPC informed them was actually the corrupted Holy Avenger. She also said only the angels know how to purify it. A servant girl (secretly an angel in disguise) tells them about the demon as a means to gain angelic favor by defeating him. So while I’m still good with developing backstory for this cave and the demon, that’s kind of where this whole thing stemmed from. I hope that helps to give you all more to work with in your ideas. 🙂

  14. Well… cleansing the Holy Avenger sounds like a pretty good temptation to dangle in front the PCs.  Did the old PC get slain by the new PC?  Having the old PC with the corrupt HA fleeing to the Demon’s cave/world might be one way to get them there.  

    Or switch expectations up.  The Demon IS the corruption of the Holy Avenger and wants to be cleansed so he can die.. at the moment he is immortal and impervious to all harm.  The Holy Avenger can only be cleansed in the land beyond the cave (the demon’s heart at the center of the land)… and doing so will cleansed the blade, kill the Demon and return everyone back to the PC’s “real” world.  The obstacles is that some people in the know do not want to leave the demon’s land and will do everything to stop the PCs from destroying their world.  The Demon’s Land can still be that land of wealth and prosperity…. and the temptation of destroying something good to kill something evil to cleanse something awful off of something good… well… my head is spinning already.  .  

  15. Jefren Draehd My  thoughts exactly. Any temptation you throw at a particuar player, the paladin will ride with them and be the angel sitting on their arm while the demon will be, you know, the demon sitting on their arm. It will give you much more interplayer action then you can ask for.

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