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Bound Demon Weapons/Armor (Elric!/SB)


Tywyll

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I've been thinking of incorporating the Summoning rules from Elric!/SB5. While reading over it, the rules for the bound weapons/armors seems potentially unbalanced.

As I understand it:

Besides POW and INT, the item demons don't need stats.

If this is the case. it seems that all such items would easily have a minimum of 12 POW worth of powers (3d8 in POW and 1d8 in Int, and a 17 POW to start with, so that when you sacrifice the POW your attribute won't be too low to lose Sorcery).

Am I understanding this correctly? Would all such items have, at a minimum, 3d10+d2? Or 2d10 if capped at 10 mp?

If so, they seem awfully powerful.

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I don't have my SB5 book handy, so my points might be flawed.

Recall that spening all of your Magic Points makes you unconscious, which is not the sort of thing most summoners desire when working on a ritual. So, the pool we're working with is 11 MP worth of powers. I think that, given the cost of many of the abilties, 11 isn't all that much to work with.

Besides, a character who is cabable of doing this sort of summoning would have to focus on it, especially if they are a beginning character. If this is the case, then a sorcerer working to forge a potent demon weapon is entirely within the scope of the game. (After all, Elric did have Stormbringer for most of the Saga. Playing a character with similar abilities is something many players will want to do if they are familiar with the settting.)

The POW cost alone assures that this will be a rare occurance, possibly even the only instance of such a summoning. No sorcerer with half a brain will spend that 1 POW if their characteristic is already 16. Also, recall that all demon items must have an Eight Arrows of Chaos engraved on them somewhere to serve as teh binding focus for the demon. Those who have a reason to suspect that a character possesses a demon item will likely capture them and search their possessions for anything bearing the sign. If discovered, the character will be discovered as a sorcerer an likely lyched or burned on sight.

There are also in-game things you can do to limit the amount of demon items in play. Recall that all demons have needs that must be fulfilled regularly, or they become petulent and likely to lash out at their summoner. Make the demon's needs particularly gross or terrible might help. If the player makes a demon weapon, maybe it must kill something once a day. This is usually not a problem while on an adventure, but can present problems during down-time. What happens if the character is isolated, and the only other living thing around is someone they cannot kill, for various reasons.

I guess the short way of saying this is that, sure, when looked at in a vacuum, demon items can be quite powerful. However, they do not exist in the game in a vacuum; there are many other facets to demon summoning that exist to offset the power of it. And, finding the balance between the power offered by demon items and the subsequent costs can be tricky, and good adventures often come from "tricky."

Edited by Charles Green
Second read became clearer
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Yeah, they're really freaking powerful. Still, each summoning requires at least 9 MP according to the rules (1 for each attribute but APP and 3 for POW).

If I were ever a player in a SB5 I would arrange to have at least a 18 POW. I'd have to roll at least a 15 and put it into my POW, then redistribute the three points to make it 18. Very doable. My two goals would be to learn Brazier of Power and Summon Demon. Once I had those, I would set up my power source. Now, I don't have my book in front of me but I believe that would cost me a point of POW and net me 34 MP (17 MP in the Brazier and my own 17 MP). I think Summon Demon costs 11 MP (1 for the spell, 10 for the attributes since I'll be summoning a greater demon). That allows me to summon a 22 MP Demon Armor since I need 1 MP to stay conscious.

Actually, I just got my book, so let's see. That gives me a demon bonus of 4d10+1d4. I'd bind it into some Sea Leather, so it would be 1d6+4d10+1d4. Let's make the Sea Leather blacker than the blackest night, with a big red Chaos symbol over my heart. Black is very slimming.

Next up is my Great Sword. I'm down to 16 MP with 17 in my brazier. I now have 21 MP available for my Great Sword's damage bonus. Now I've got a Great Sword that does 2d8+4d10+1d2. It's no Stormbringer, but it'll get the job done. I can no longer cast spells, but I really don't need them anymore. I'm a killing machine that is pretty untouchable.

I might want to get some loaded dice though. To Summon a demon you have to succeed in your Luck roll. If you fail it, you lose your POW point. Still, at the POW levels I'm talking about your lowest roll is going to 80%, so the odds are in your favor there.

I also need to succeed on the POW:POW roll. The demon's POW could be as low as 4 or as high as 32. The average is 18 so it's much more of a gamble, but still possible. Actually, I'm going to increase my spell list to three. I'll also learn Bonds Unbreakable so I can get the POW ticks on a successful use against an opponent with an equal or higher POW than me. This will kick my Great Sword up to 2d8+4d10+1d4 and eventually allow me to bind a greater demon as a servant.

It takes planning, patients and luck, but it's doable. It's also an extreme and I've never had a player try it. In fact, most of my players steer clear of summoning demons. When they do summon them, they usually summon an entity and negotiate with it. In years of playing, I think I only had one binding. Now I use the demon summoning rules from Corum for everyone who's not a Melnibonean or from Pan Tang, so the extreme is much less of an issue.

So, is it unbalancing? Depends upon your game world and the other magic systems there. It also depends on how your players use/abuse it. Is it a welcome addition? I think so, even though I modify it with the Corum rules.

And, as soon as Marcus gets that Gods of Law monograph uploaded to his site, you'll have some pretty cool mechanics to combat Chaos with!

Besides POW and INT, the item demons don't need stats.

You need to spend 1 MP for each stat except POW and APP even though it's not actually used. You don't need to spend any points for APP. You need to spend 3 MP for POW for a minor demon and 4 for a major demon. So 8 for a minor demon, 9 for a major demon, plus 1 for the Summon spell and 1 to stay conscious.

Edited by Chaot

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Know what's even crazier than the Demon Summoning rules? Allegiance. According to the rules, every time you cast a spell you gain a point of Chaos. If you're committed to Chaos and you reach 100 Chaos points, you're eligible for Apotheosis. You're now a Champion of Chaos, which means that every time you die, you have a good chance of coming back to life. You'll lose a point of CON and some skill points. You also get double MP points and you have a POW x3% chance of contacting your patron Duke of Entropy.

Which means I can roll up a character and choose Rat Vision as a spell. It's a 1 point spell. I get 1 point in Chaos for beginning with that spell. I move into the sewers and start casting Rat Vision. Say I have a 16 POW. My spell will last for 16 combat rounds. That's not a whole lot of time, so I can easily cast 16 MP per day and pass out because I have no MP left.

Let's say that I only cast 15 MP per day, because I don't want to be unconscious in the sewer. In a week, seven days, I'll have accrued 105 Chaos points. Woot! I'm a Champion now! Apotheosis is mine! All using the rules as written.

Additionally, all character's start with a horse, which is valued at 2,000 LB. Put some points in Bargain and sell the horse. Get yourself some good armor.

These are my munchkin issues with Elric!/SB5 as written. But I've been running it for years and the only thing my player have tried to do was the selling of the horse. That's fine with me because they invest in armor and I like to keep my PCs alive.

I've also house ruled that you gain a Chaos point when you learn a spell, not when you cast it. I also use the optional rule that when a skill goes over 80% and every 20% after the character gets a point of Law. When I'm feeling really mean, I institute the Corum Allegiance rules...

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Know what's even crazier than the Demon Summoning rules? Allegiance. According to the rules, every time you cast a spell you gain a point of Chaos.

I thought that the rule wasn't actually in Elric! (though I've read the writer intended it be in there). I definitely agree that's cheesy.

I'm wanting to mix the system with other magic systems, like RQ4 Sorcery, Divine Magic, and BRP Sorcery. I wanted a 'dark magic' that would allow for summons and bindings, but I don't think that I can use those as written (I know that some of my players would, if they were going to sacrifice a POW, they'd want as much of a benefit from it as they could get.

Humm... I may have to rethink this. Any suggestions on limitations? Maybe I'll have to read the Corum limitations.

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Know what's even crazier than the Demon Summoning rules? Allegiance. According to the rules, every time you cast a spell you gain a point of Chaos...

Err, no you don't. Charles is correct:

These are unusual rewards, made to recognise special circumstances or unique events. An evening of play might see one such award.

A character gets a Chaos Allegiance point for every spell they take at character generation, and for every spell they subsequently learn (i.e. that they choose to acquire) in play. But I've never played nor can find in a quick scan of both Elric! or Stormbringer 5th edition any rule that says you get Alleigance points simply for casting spells.

And, given the passage I quoted, it's clearly against the rules anyway - in spirit if not the letter. Constantly pointlessly casting a spell like Rat Vision simply to gain Allegiance points is neither special nor unique, and would simply guarantee (in my game at least) that the Lords of Chaos would never accept that character as an agent.

Mind, it also wouldn't be an issue as I'd throw anyone pulling such a stupid stunt out of the group anyway...

Cheers,

Nick

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Err, no you don't.

Yeah, you do. Here's the official FAQ from Lynn Willis.

Q: Does casting a spell add to your Chaos score? The table on pg. 109 doesn't say so (though this may be because of a typo).

A: Under earning chaos points on pg. 35 we note that casting magic earns Chaos points, and on pg. 76 we say "learning or casting even a lawful spell adds a Chaos point to the adventurer's score." but nowhere does the text seem to say how much! Thus on pg. 109, mark that you earn 1 Chaos point each time a Chaos spell is cast and neither earn nor lose Balance or Law points for spellcasting.

And, given the passage I quoted, it's clearly against the rules anyway - in spirit if not the letter.

Completely within the rules. I'm the Rat-King. I'm a harbinger of Chaos. I see through the eyes of rats to bring disorder every where and further the agenda of the Dukes of Entropy!

Yeah, I don't play by those rules either. Learning a spell gains you a Chaos point, just like like gaining a skill at 80% and every 20% after that gains you Law points. But it's not the writer's intent, it's my homebrew.

I don't even follow the Allegiance rules. I just tell my players to list every significant thing that they did that falls under Law, the Balance, or Chaos. For every action they list, they get a point in the given tally. Every once in a while I have to contest their list, but in general, they're fair. It also gives them more control over their characters.

Note that I'm giving Tywyll worse case scenarios that are all by the book. None of the stuff that I posted would fly in my game. (Except for the horse thing. I'm all for upgrading the PC's armor.)

Mind, it also wouldn't be an issue as I'd throw anyone pulling such a stupid stunt out of the group anyway...

So, you'd throw me out for following the rules? ;)

As I said, these are extremes. The reason why I'm bringing them up is because Tywyll was worried about an unbalancing issue. I'm letting him know about the extremes.

Humm... I may have to rethink this. Any suggestions on limitations? Maybe I'll have to read the Corum limitations.

Nah, I'm just rules ranting. I've not had demon summoning be an unbalancing feature in my games. Though, as I said before, my player's usually negotiate with a summoned demon instead of binding them.

I'll have to check, but I don't think there are binding rules in Corum. It's pretty much making a pact with the demon. Again, I'll have to check because I've only used the rules occasionally and it's been awhile since I've browsed the summoning rules.

There's a nifty rule that augments Allegiance. If your Chaos points are above your Law or Balance points you have a chance of gaining a Chaotic feature. For every point that you have in Chaos above the other two tallies, you have a 1% of gaining a Chaotic feature. So, say Grognard the Barbarian has Law 24, Balance 08, Chaos 37. He gains a point of Chaos because that's the way he rolls, upping it to 38. Every time he gains a Chaos point above Law or the Balance, he has to roll a d100. Because his Chaos score is now 38 he has to roll above a 14%. Otherwise, he gains a Chaos feature. I've incorporated CoC Sanity rules in addition to the physical mutations given in Corum.

So, yes, don't let my extreme examples of foreboding doom deter you. Add the demon summoning rules. Just be aware of the extremes. And take another look at Corum.

Edited by Chaot

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Yeah, you do. Here's the official FAQ from Lynn Willis.

Just so you know, Lynn has been "wrong" before. The old parry/dodge rules

for example. If you parry first, than dodge later, you dodge at parry - 30%.

Which is OK at first glance, but what if your parry skill is 90% and your dodge

is 30%? You perform the dodge at 60% (90 - 30) !!! So, you automatically

become twice as good at dodging a blow if you parried previously in the

same round ???

I would say Nick's interpretation is correct, and well defined by the rules. Lynn's

FAQ update seems to be an incorrect interpretation of the rules as he wrote

them (which, quite possibly, he actually did not - a number of authors had

their hand in Elric!).

-V

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The old parry/dodge rules for example.

I'd actually really like to read Lynn's original post on that rule. My understanding was that the PC got a -30 every additional time they Parried or Dodged regardless of which one they did first. Meaning, if a PC had a Parry of 80% and a Dodge of 40% and they used their Parry and then had to Dodge their Dodge would effectively be at 10%.

I would say Nick's interpretation is correct, and well defined by the rules.

You'll note that I agree with Nick. But I would argue that it's not well defined since there's errata out there that is contradictory.

Still, I think Summoning and Allegiance rules are a welcome addition to a game. I'm just pointing out potential pitfalls.

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I'd actually really like to read Lynn's original post on that rule. My understanding was that the PC got a -30 every additional time they Parried or Dodged regardless of which one they did first. Meaning, if a PC had a Parry of 80% and a Dodge of 40% and they used their Parry and then had to Dodge their Dodge would effectively be at 10%.

This is a bit of a tangent, but that's what I always thought rule was supposed to mean actually...

You'll note that I agree with Nick. But I would argue that it's not well defined since there's errata out there that is contradictory.

Not to flog the deceased equine, but this is an errata only published on an "unofficial" Chaosium mailing list in September 1993, but which somehow never made it in to the revised fourth printing of the Elric! rule book in July 1994, nor the May 2001 printing of Stormbinger 5th edition? I think Lynn answered Dave Dunham's question off the cuff without thinking through the implications, which is why SB5 does not include this rule, and its allegiance table says "learns magic (per spell)", not "casts magic (per spell)".

Still, I think Summoning and Allegiance rules are a welcome addition to a game. I'm just pointing out potential pitfalls.

I think the big problem with porting SB5 demons in to other settings is the binding rules - just as in earlier incarnations of the game, they can make horrendously powerful items, and the system as is has no natural counter balancing aspect. Limiting binding to its traditional meaning (i.e. "held in service", not "stored in") so a sorcerer can have demons who serve them, but not demons that pretend to be swords etc. for them helps, as does increasing the role playing cost of summoning and binding demons (blood sacrifices etc.), and the consequences (e.g. Reduce APP by 1 for every demon summoned, 1D3 for every demon bound).

I like both the allegiance and summoning systems from SB5 a lot - but whilst allegiance is, as a system, pretty setting neutral (just draw up different tables as appropriate), summoning is actually quite closely tied to the Elric! / Stormbringer 5th edition vision of the Young Kingdoms as an RPG setting, and transplanting it requires some thinking about how the target setting differs from that source and adjusting the system accordingly.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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Its been interesting to read this thread, and it reminds me of precisely why, when sitting down to tackle magic for Mongoose's Elric of Melnibone, I wanted to...

a) Make it far more streamlined, recapturing the flavour of SB1

B) Remove some/all of the grossness that bound demons can create

c) Get back to the way sorcery appears in the Elric saga - so, with the exception of Stormbringer, no bound demons.

Same is true of the Allegiance system. I've never used it in my Stormbringer games - it was just more bean counting that didn't, for me, reflect the saga. So for the MRQ Elric I went for the Pact system where you choose a god and mortgage your soul to it. You can get lots of kewl powerz (reflecting the kinds of powers you see similar damned souls, like Gaynor, exhibiting in the saga), but your god takes a hefty price from you.

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Same is true of the Allegiance system. I've never used it in my Stormbringer games - it was just more bean counting that didn't, for me, reflect the saga. So for the MRQ Elric I went for the Pact system where you choose a god and mortgage your soul to it. You can get lots of kewl powerz (reflecting the kinds of powers you see similar damned souls, like Gaynor, exhibiting in the saga), but your god takes a hefty price from you.

Hey Mr. Whitaker,

I really like your gift system in MRQ.

I was wondering how it might work in a system alongside more traditional BRP (RQ) Divine Magic (whereby you sacrifice POW rather than Dedicate it). Would it be inadvisable to allow the POW costs to simply be sacrificed POW?

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As far as Demon weapons go. I think you also need to put a few points in size( Not many) based on how big the weapon was and in con to determine the weapons hit points.

But demon s and demon stuff was pretty powerful and main drawback I think is that your average demon was not the most loyal and dependable creature out there. I preferred elementals which although not as powerful tended not to twist your requests in every way possible.

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Hey Mr. Whitaker,

I really like your gift system in MRQ.

I was wondering how it might work in a system alongside more traditional BRP (RQ) Divine Magic (whereby you sacrifice POW rather than Dedicate it). Would it be inadvisable to allow the POW costs to simply be sacrificed POW?

Glad you like it. I think the system's eminently portable to a divine cult, and I can see devotees/Rune Lords sacrificing POW as part of their dedication, with the resulting gifts being things that make you channel your god. However the gifts and compulsions from Elric probably aren't portable as they stand, because they're designed to reflect the Elric stories. You'd probably want to tone them down or create new ones to reflect the god being worshipped.

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Its been interesting to read this thread, and it reminds me of precisely why, when sitting down to tackle magic for Mongoose's Elric of Melnibone, I wanted to...

c) Get back to the way sorcery appears in the Elric saga - so, with the exception of Stormbringer, no bound demons.

I may be missing your point, but there are two cases I always interpreted as demon armour.

1. At start of Singing Citadel, Elric's ship is attacked by Pan Tangians. Elric fights the captain who is a member of the Thecracy and is described as wearing 'sorcerously treated armour' and 'magic treated armour'. I never inteerpreted as a battle magic spell, as it implies a permancy about the magic.

2. In Stormbringer, Jagreen Lern's 'scarlet flaming armour' and shield.

When I dealt with bound demons, armour and weapons were not sentient as such, but provided the abilities to the inanimate objects. Thus imbuing mundane objects with sorcerous powers.

Likes to sneak around

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I may be missing your point, but there are two cases I always interpreted as demon armour.

1. At start of Singing Citadel, Elric's ship is attacked by Pan Tangians. Elric fights the captain who is a member of the Thecracy and is described as wearing 'sorcerously treated armour' and 'magic treated armour'. I never inteerpreted as a battle magic spell, as it implies a permancy about the magic.

2. In Stormbringer, Jagreen Lern's 'scarlet flaming armour' and shield.

When I dealt with bound demons, armour and weapons were not sentient as such, but provided the abilities to the inanimate objects. Thus imbuing mundane objects with sorcerous powers.

You should go back and read the books afresh. As you rightly pointed out neither case infers that those items were demons, and in one case it explicitly states that the armour is sorcerous, rather than demonic. The only demons in the saga ever bound as an object are Stormbringer and Mournblade themselves, and that took the magical strength of an entire race of beings more powerful than the Melniboneans to do.

The research for writing Mongoose's EoM magic system, actually revealed that Sorcery using runes (more akin to traditional fantasy spells) was as prevalent as demon summoning. There was also occasional references to alchemy... both of which are far more likely explanations of the incidental sorcerous items in the saga.

Thus in EoM you have the ability to use Rune Sorcery to imbue powers to items, either temporarily; or potentially for the life of the sorcerer if they are willing to bind up their power for the duration... :)

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I may be missing your point, but there are two cases I always interpreted as demon armour.

1. At start of Singing Citadel, Elric's ship is attacked by Pan Tangians. Elric fights the captain who is a member of the Thecracy and is described as wearing 'sorcerously treated armour' and 'magic treated armour'. I never inteerpreted as a battle magic spell, as it implies a permancy about the magic.

2. In Stormbringer, Jagreen Lern's 'scarlet flaming armour' and shield.

When I dealt with bound demons, armour and weapons were not sentient as such, but provided the abilities to the inanimate objects. Thus imbuing mundane objects with sorcerous powers.

As Pete says, these items can be replicated using the rune magic system found in the Magic of the YK book from Mongoose (was meant to be in the main rules but got cut for space reasons). I agree that mundane items with sorcerous powers certainly occur, but actually being bound demons - sentient or not - is exceedingly rare. The rune magic rules were consciously designed to achieve the effects of Jagreen Lern's armour and the pirate captain's axe, and Pete and I worked very closely together on developing the system.

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As Pete says, these items can be replicated using the rune magic system found in the Magic of the YK book from Mongoose (was meant to be in the main rules but got cut for space reasons). I agree that mundane items with sorcerous powers certainly occur, but actually being bound demons - sentient or not - is exceedingly rare. The rune magic rules were consciously designed to achieve the effects of Jagreen Lern's armour and the pirate captain's axe, and Pete and I worked very closely together on developing the system.

For what its worth, I agree (although Lern's armour was demon-bound wasn't it?). If there is one thing that annoyed me about Elric/SB it was the overuse of Demon-armour/weapons. The over abundance of magic was up there, but that's for another post!

I should also mention that while I'm not a big fan of Mongoose's EoM, I love what Loz has done with Demon summoning, Pacts and Rune magic. I plan on porting this over to my own 20sided conversion at some point.

Marcus

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As Pete says, these items can be replicated using the rune magic system found in the Magic of the YK book from Mongoose (was meant to be in the main rules but got cut for space reasons).

Thankyou both for the clarification.

Bugger! Another book to go on my wish list. The thing that annoys me about Mongoose, is how thin their books are, and how many more you need to buy to get core stuff. The only Mongoose book I bought that I think was good value was my Deluxe hardcover. Until my front cover came off.

I agree the old SB made demons too common, but I grew to get used to it. I treated the creation of the armour or weapons as a separate thing to demon summoning.

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I'd actually really like to read Lynn's original post on that rule. My understanding was that the PC got a -30 every additional time they Parried or Dodged regardless of which one they did first. Meaning, if a PC had a Parry of 80% and a Dodge of 40% and they used their Parry and then had to Dodge their Dodge would effectively be at 10%.

As Nick pointed out, SB5 corrected the early Elric! rule, and one only gains Chaos

points when one learns a spell, not when one casts a spell.

The example in both Elric! and SB5 regarding parrying and dodging in the same

round uses these examples:

Example 1: Parry 91%, Dodge 90% - First Parry at 91%, following Dodge at

61% (not 60% which would be Dodge - 30). Third Parry or Dodge at 31%

Example 2: Parry 91%, Dodge 150% - First Parry at 91%, following Dodge at

61%.

Unfortunately, the most interesting case was not given an example, Parry

91% and Dodge 30%. The rule, as defined and exampled in the book, shows

that any subsequent Parry or Dodge attempted in a round is the previous chance

minus 30% (example 1 shows this specifically as the minute difference in

base values favors Parry). So, by the rule, first Parry is 91% and subsequent

Dodge is 61% (Parry - 30) - which means the character is all of a sudden

twice as good at dodging as a result of already parrying in that round.

I know it is a tangential point, but I was illustrating the fact that Lynn, regardless

of how well he designs rules and writes, sometimes misses things. In Elric! and

SB5, in Lynn's forward he states that the Dodge/Parry and Allegiance rules

were both co-written with others, to what extent we do not know. As a result,

it is very possible that Lynn misunderstood/misinterpreted things in both cases.

SB5 corrected the Chaos point confusion, but the Parry/Dodge issue was

never addressed.

BTW, my houserule is for the subsequent Dodge/Parry is previous iteration

minus 30 or skill - 30, whichever is lower, as both you and Nick interpret

the rule. Sometimes, if I am feeling more cinematic, it is previous iteration

minus 30 or skill, which ever is lower.

Back to the original topic at hand, there are a few things missing from how

one summons and binds demons. The first is a minimum of 8 MP are spent

describing the demons stats. Then, for a 2d10 damage rating, another 10

MP must be spent. So, we're looking at a minimum of 18MP to summon

the demon. Also, for weapon binding, you need an eternal bind, which is a

3 POW permanent sacrifice. That isn't very cheap, and considering a Sorceror

with a 17 POW would drop to 14 POW, well, I would wait until you hit at least

18 POW. Plus, you have the POW vs. POW contest to perform the bind.

Even with a minor demon (3d8 POW - average of 14 or 15), that's a pretty

big risk.

Secondly, and this is more of a house rule instead of written, if you were

creating a demon using the bearest minimum stats (1d8 in all but POW which

must be 3d8), meaning STR, DEX, and SIZ are 1d8, but then making it a

Combat Demon for the purpose of binding it into a weapon, by spending

10MP for 2d10 damage (and, IIRC, 100% attack/parry), well, that demon

does not make sense. A combat demon with 100% attack/parry and 2d10

damage, but at best, a measly 8 STR, 8 DEX and 8 SIZ? As a GM, I would

disallow this demon. More points must be spent - at least 3d8 STR, 3d8 DEX

and 2d8 SIZ. Now we're looking at 23 MP. Plus, a combat demon should have

appropriate armour powers, and, assuming something on par with the combat

skills, you're pushing 30 MP.

-V

Edited by vagabond
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Secondly, and this is more of a house rule instead of written, if you were creating a demon using the bearest minimum stats (1d8 in all but POW which must be 3d8), meaning STR, DEX, and SIZ are 1d8, but then making it a Combat Demon for the purpose of binding it into a weapon, by spending 10MP for 2d10 damage (and, IIRC, 100% attack/parry), well, that demon does not make sense. A combat demon with 100% attack/parry and 2d10 damage, but at best, a measly 8 STR, 8 DEX and 8 SIZ? As a GM, I would disallow this demon. More points must be spent - at least 3d8 STR, 3d8 DEX and 2d8 SIZ. Now we're looking at 23 MP. Plus, a combat demon should have appropriate armour powers, and, assuming something on par with the combat skills, you're pushing 30 MP.

The irony is that SB1-3 handled that pretty easily since the damage bonus was simply a function of the Demon's STR and not bought separately. I still prefer the SB1-3 demon and elemental binding rules to everything that came after them. They were simple, straight forward, and extremely dangerous. I had a few simple houserules, but it doesn't deviate much from the rules as written. (The biggie is that I removed the link between sorcerer and demon total stats, and made demon stats random instead of purchased.)

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As you rightly pointed out neither case infers that those items were demons, and in one case it explicitly states that the armour is sorcerous, rather than demonic.

If it has to point out that the armour is not demonic, that implies that other things exist that are demonic.

But the books are fiction and do not go into any of the theories of magic or magical items.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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If it has to point out that the armour is not demonic, that implies that other things exist that are demonic.

But the books are fiction and do not go into any of the theories of magic or magical items.

Very true on both counts. However, in the first case the saga was heavily packed with descriptive text about the demonic nature and personality of Stormbringer - thus the contrast may have been specific to emphasise the sword's unique nature! :)

The second point is also valid. MM was somewhat inconsistant in his description of magic, which was why doing all the research (collating every single incidence of magic and demons from the entire saga) was so interesting. After reading through all the excerpts it was both fun and a slight challenge to create a magic system with Loz, which matched the saga's underlying patterns.

Believe me that I was just as surprised as anyone when my imagined recollection of 'bound' demons from the books turned out to be false! Both the SB and Elric game books had skewed my memory. :D

Edited by Pete Nash
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