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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Hey guys,

    I'm aiding my friend in fleshing out Nine Hells. Now, the thing with lore is, if I really abbreaviate it - there are 9 layers, really nasty place each on its own, they are populated by LE devils, each layer is ruled by this-and-this guy. Cool. But, the way I am reading lore, it tells REALLY LITTLE of the actual place.

    {Scrubbed} Per such "lore" approach, {scrubbed}a socialist country with state-run economy and army. Army is really important. There is a lot of opression {Scrubbed}, who inherited his powers from his predicessor.

    You get something, but nothing of the vibe. Of super-brainwashed population. Of powerty. Starvation. Of laughable, obsolete economy. Of concentration camps and horrid torture and death that takes place there. You don't get the real picture.

    So, when thinking of Nine hells, well ... I think the first thing one should go along is - this is a NASTY place. Like really nasty. And most importantly it is not "just another zone from MMPORG", that happens to have red-ish soil, rivers of blood and volcanoes erupting every now and so. I think Nine hells are a place of utter opression. Scrubbed. But ... what evil deeds do take place here? How are souls(or bodies?) tortured here. What sort of unspeakable deeds take place within the devil society, they deem normal, but should horrify any normal human? What is the big "vibe" of the place?

    When you enter {Scrubbed} you get a certain vibe. And all events and all concepts are intimately tied to this vibe. How do you do this for Nine hells?

    thanks
    Last edited by Pirate ninja; 2021-01-20 at 05:18 AM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    What sources do you have available? This issue may simply be a problem of reading the Cliffs Notes on the Hells and not realising there is more, across various editions.

    Planescape had a lot of books that detailed the various planes, but Planes of Law is probably the one with more in-depth info for Baator. 3.x had the Planar Handbook and Manual of the Planes with more generic info, but Fiendish Codex II is a deep dive on all things Baator and Devils. Dragon Magazine #75, #75 and #91 have articles about the Nine Hells. There's also another AD&D book called Guide to Hell that may interest you.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Read Dante's Inferno. Or any comic book adaptation of it. Or... really, any mythological description of various hellscapes.

    Roleplaying games and their supplements are strictlt derivative, secondary sources. Just go back to the real sources.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoboKnight View Post
    How are souls(or bodies?) tortured here.
    As I understand it from the 5e MM, it mostly involves these guys:
    Spoiler
    Show

    The first one is called a lemure. It is the form in which LE souls usually arrive in the Nine Hells of Baator, washing up on the shores of the Styx as the river goes through Avernus, the first hell.

    A lemure has been stripped of its memories, though those might be retrieved from the sediments at the bottom of the Styx (for example by an hydroloth, a type of yugoloth that is immune to memory-affecting effects and actually lives in the Styx).

    A lemure's body is an oozing mass of flesh, its face a permanent expression of anguish. Unlike other devils, a lemure will not permanently die even when killed on Baator. Thus, a lemure's misery knows no end, unless it is transformed into another type of devil.

    The second one is called a kyton, though more commonly known as a chain devil. Its main job is to make a lemure's existence even worse. Indeed, "they are called on to torment mortal souls trapped in the Nine Hells, inflicting their sadistic fury on the horrid lemures in which those souls manifest" (5e MM p68).

    It is unclear if there is a reason to the torture beyond simple cruelty. In the vastly different 4e lore, IIRC, torturing souls was a way for devils to reap soul energy, and was also the process through which the unfortunate soul would eventually be flayed of any redeeming quality and become a true devil.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Dante's Inferno is the Ur source. And you can find out a lot about "Hell" from a simple internet search.

    For D&D:

    The 2E Planescape boxed set, Faces of Evil book, Planewalkers Handbook, Hellbound box set and Planes of Law boxed set have the bulk of lore.

    See also the 2E adventure Paladin in Hell is a good place to start too.

    3E has the Fiendish codex II

    Don't think there is much for 4E/5E....

    And then you can also check out this ancient website: http://www.pathguy.com/baator.html

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Since Avernus is (one of?) the place(s) of the blood war anyone who finds themselves in the wasteland hell may find demons battling devils. There wouldn't be anywhere to be safe, I think one way to make the players feel unsafe is to not let them rest. Every time they try to rest they are ambushed by demons or devils. Their resources should whittle down and never recover. If they make it to the bronze citadel or some other settlement they have to pay outrageous fees to enter, everything they need (rations) comes at a huge markup. Hit the players where it really hurts: their GP. Besides that, if they want to use any amenity they have to jump through all kinds of hoops and play Simon Says with the authorities. I think that would make it a proper pain simulator.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderswims View Post
    Don't think there is much for 4E/5E....
    The 5e DMG gives a brief overlook of the planes, with Baator being the only one to be described layer by layer. These descriptions are mostly about the infernal landscapes, including the rivers of blood and volcanoes that HoboKnight wasn't so fond of in his opening post.

    The later 5e book Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes dedicates its first chapter to the Blood War, and is IMO a bit better at presenting the themes of each of the Nine Hells. Here is a selection of quotes:

    Spoiler: Avernus
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p11
    Zariel rules over the ruin that Avernus has become. Once it was a bustling realm filled with cities, trade outposts, and other features, but recent activity in the Blood War has reduced it to a blasted wasteland. The few structures still standing are citadels constructed by the devils to repel attackers, to be rebuilt each time the front line of the war moves. The devils are in control of Avernus at present, though the fighting goes on (as it always does) in isolated locales throughout the layer.

    Spoiler: Dis
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p11
    Using some of the great number of secret techniques Dispater has unearthed over his lifetime, the foundries of Dis produce deadly armaments that help to stem the abyssal tide. The fighting requires constant reinforcements, creating a voracious appetite for the products of the iron mines on Dis and the workshops in the sprawling metropolis that shares the name of the layer.

    Spoiler: Minauros
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p12
    As the lord of Minauros, Mammon oversees the soul trade. [...] Mammon has accumulated a great treasure hoard, but spends only a small portion of it on maintaining his domain. As a result, Minauros is a fetid, wretched place, its structures characterized by cheap construction, flimsy materials, and shoddy artisanship.

    Spoiler: Phlegethos
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    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p13
    Phlegethos is the center of the Nine Hells' judicial system, which is overseen by Belial. Any disputes regarding contracts, accusations of cowardice in battle or dereliction of duty, and other criminal charges are resolved here. [...] The realm's primary city, Abriymoch, is a pleasure palace of sorts for devils that are enjoying a respite from their duties. Abriymoch is filled with devilish versions of taverns, theaters, casinos, and other entertainments.

    Spoiler: Stygia
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    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p13
    Every other layer of the Nine Hells has a function related to warfare, industry, administration, or commerce, but Stygia is an expanse of untamed, unimproved territory. Even so, it has its uses. [...] Lesser devils that need to sharpen their combat skills or improve their endurance before reporting to Avernus for duty in the Blood War spend time in Stygia. [...] Any devils bound to either [Levistus or Geryon] that aren't needed for service in the Blood War engage in constant skirmishes across the ice, and yugoloths and other mercenaries from across the planes play a key role in the struggle.

    Spoiler: Malboge
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    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p14
    Malbolge is the prison of the Nine Hells, and on this layer dwells its most infamous criminal. Glasya, the rebellious daughter of Asmodeus, rules the place and oversees the punishments doled out to devils that stray from their assigned tasks. [...] Condemned devils are typically trapped in cages, which are lowered on chains to hang beneath the platforms. From such a vantage, the prisoners are continually battered by Malbolge's avalanches, causing injuries that are agonizing but never fatal.

    Spoiler: Maladomini
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p15
    Every edict, policy statement, scientific treatise, and other document in the Nine Hells is recorded, copied, and filed away in Maladomini's archives. These storehouses are buried deep underground , so that they would remain intact if the layer is ever again hit by the sort of devastation that occurred when Baalzebul was brought to heel.

    Spoiler: Cania
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p17
    Cania is essentially an enormous laboratory. Mephistopheles and his devotees prefer to conduct their studies in a wasteland where they can unleash gouts of arcane energy without destroying anything important. Experiments involving new spells, new magic items, and other innovations for the infernal arsenal regularly cause localized cataclysms in this place.

    Spoiler: Nessus
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by MToF p10
    Asmodeus resides in Nessus, the bottommost layer of the Nine Hells. By design, the place is devoid of activity, since Asmodeus values his privacy and safety. [...] Asmodeus dwells in a great fortress somewhere in the wasteland, at the bottom of its deepest pit. Only his most trusted followers and most important advisors know the route to it. He remains inside, relying on messengers and magic to convey his dictates.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoboKnight View Post
    Hey guys,

    I'm aiding my friend in fleshing out Nine Hells. Now, the thing with lore is, if I really abbreaviate it - there are 9 layers, really nasty place each on its own, they are populated by LE devils, each layer is ruled by this-and-this guy. Cool. But, the way I am reading lore, it tells REALLY LITTLE of the actual place.

    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}

    You get something, but nothing of the vibe. Of super-brainwashed population. Of powerty. Starvation. Of laughable, obsolete economy. Of concentration camps and horrid torture and death that takes place there. You don't get the real picture.

    So, when thinking of Nine hells, well ... I think the first thing one should go along is - this is a NASTY place. Like really nasty. And most importantly it is not "just another zone from MMPORG", that happens to have red-ish soil, rivers of blood and volcanoes erupting every now and so. I think Nine hells are a place of utter opression. {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}. But ... what evil deeds do take place here? How are souls(or bodies?) tortured here. What sort of unspeakable deeds take place within the devil society, they deem normal, but should horrify any normal human? What is the big "vibe" of the place?

    When you enter {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}you get a certain vibe. And all events and all concepts are intimately tied to this vibe. How do you do this for Nine hells?

    thanks
    {Scrubbed}

    So are you after 5th ed descriptions or content to flesh itmout or ideas for yourself to add to it?

    If the latter, I would begin by using the LE nature as a starting point. What rule, if followed, could give rise to suffering? Assign some of these to each level and use it to epitomize what that layer is.

    Edit: just realised this isnt 5th edition forum. Discount those references.
    Last edited by Pirate ninja; 2021-01-20 at 05:26 AM.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    The 5e DMG gives a brief overlook of the planes, with Baator being the only one to be described layer by layer. These descriptions are mostly about the infernal landscapes, including the rivers of blood and volcanoes that HoboKnight wasn't so fond of in his opening post.

    The later 5e book Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes dedicates its first chapter to the Blood War, and is IMO a bit better at presenting the themes of each of the Nine Hells. Here is a selection of quotes:








    Read what this person posted.

    The descriptions are short for a number of reasons.

    1 the book is only soo kong
    2 DMs all seem to have a different take on things
    3 not all of you all enjoy reading the infrastructure reports concerning the municipalites or countries we actually live in much less one you may never see in a campaign
    4 sometimes you just have to make up what works for your story

    Zariel have a good 50 years? The hell trains run in time.

    Your players disrupt the flow of souls, act accordingly.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    You may also benefit from Descent Into Avernus. It’s bound to develop that layer to so s greater extent.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    I tend to run the upper and lower planes of D&D land like the Matrix. No, seriously.

    All the souls that shift to the lower planes pop into a giant modern/1930s hell-city as eternal wage slaves with no hope doing all the menial paperwork that keeps the place going. The demons and devils are basically like the Mr. Smith programs, what with the flying and teleporting and immunities to the local environment. It's an alien, confusing, and hostile place for faux-medieval characters. Of course for this one there's no "outside" to it. Not that you'd want to go there what with the no food, no saftey, no loot, no magic thing that would be going on.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    My approach to the Nine Hells leans really into the Lawful Evil aspect. Imagine your worst job as a large corporation with a toxic workplace. The 9 Hells is like that except:
    - if you ended up in the Nine Hells, you were already a toxic person, so there aren’t the islands of sanity you would find in a real workplace;
    - you can’t quit;
    - the boss knows you can’t quit and won’t get in trouble regardless of what he does to you.

    The Hells is full of people who suck up to the powerful and bully the weaker. Anyone at the same level is either a useful idiot or a rival to be undermined.

    Things get done: high stakes and massive pressure concentrates the mind wonderfully, but everything is unpleasant, inefficient and toxic. People betray each other regularly, but only if they think they can get away with it. The best way to get anything done is either through intimidation or appeals to self-interest, but standard intimidation “do what I say or I’ll beat you up” doesn’t work. You need to threaten devils with something they actually fear and demonstrate that you have some means to follow through.

    I would consider imposing disadvantage on all Per and Int checks unless the character leverages something that matters to the devil.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Reading Dickens or watching Brazil might be a good start, if anachronistic to most D&D characters. The former plays up what happens in a rulebound society that openly embraces untrammeled capitalism, while the latter is a society that has become nonsensical under its own weight. Both could serve as good inspiration for the plane of pure LE.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    I don't think that the hells should really be filled with endless layers of inefficient and absurd bureaucracy. Because they are at war. They are permanently at war. And it's a war run by creatures that are all more intelligent than the greatest geniuses the human race has ever created, who are also thousands of years old and have access to magic. So I think they should be quite the opposite: scarily efficient and streamlined.

    The bureaucracy knows every contingency and has planned for it. They have the forms ready for any request you can think of and the list of why it will or will not be granted. If something needs to be done fast, it will be done in seconds, including shoving someone up six layers of the bureaucracy because their request is too important for low-level goons.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post
    What sources do you have available? This issue may simply be a problem of reading the Cliffs Notes on the Hells and not realising there is more, across various editions.
    What I've read of it doesn't come off as being as oppressive or as bureaucratic as it should be. For one thing, it doesn't seem sufficiently difficult for people (and especially for foreigners) to avoid being arrested for random trifling BS. For another thing, slavery is somehow less emphasized in works about Baator than it is in works about the Abyss.

    Now I've thought of an explanation for why this could be, but this explanation is not explicit in the works, and I only just now thought of how to describe it. If you've seen the movie Cabin In The Woods, it's a little like totalitarian regimes are the titular cabin, and Baator is the cult's control room, which dispenses and controls the horrors, but is not part of or affected by them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Reading Dickens or watching Brazil might be a good start, if anachronistic to most D&D characters. The former plays up what happens in a rulebound society that openly embraces untrammeled capitalism, while the latter is a society that has become nonsensical under its own weight. Both could serve as good inspiration for the plane of pure LE.
    Also the RPG Paranoia, the book Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, and the works of Kafka and Orwell
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-01-06 at 05:46 PM.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    For another thing, slavery is somehow less emphasized in works about Baator than it is in works about the Abyss.
    My impression of Baator's soul trade is that every devil belongs to another devil, which themself belongs to another, and so on, up to an archdevil or possibly Asmodeus.

    By contrast, there would be plenty of free-roaming demons.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    My impression of Baator's soul trade is that every devil belongs to another devil, which themself belongs to another, and so on, up to an archdevil or possibly Asmodeus.

    By contrast, there would be plenty of free-roaming demons.
    I think the most common theme of everyone who lives in the nine hells is that they are all prisoners there in some capacity. Importantly their predicament is due to their own choices, they're in a hell of their own making. Besides fear, the feeling you should feel for devils is pity.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    What I've read of it doesn't come off as being as oppressive or as bureaucratic as it should be. For one thing, it doesn't seem sufficiently difficult for people (and especially for foreigners) to avoid being arrested for random trifling BS.
    Do they need to be an oppressive bureaucracy? It's certainly a common way to depict Hell in fiction, but it's not the only one.

    It has been pointed out that Baator owes a lot to Dante's Inferno, with the environment itself being hostile and dangerous, most of the devils dedicated to torture and debauchery and horror. Trespassers have to survive against hails of fire, memory-erasing waters, acidic lakes, freezing landscapes, bottomless pits and more: there's no need to worry much about keeping average visitors in check when they may be incinerated by a rain of fireballs.

    The devils themselves live in a strict caste order, each devil (officially) being completely subservient to the higher-ranking ones - the only one who doesn't have to answer to anyone is Asmodeus himself, and he has to keep the whole thing running while also carefully balancing a dozen conspiracies and plots against both his own servants and his enemies.

    Also, there's a concrete risk of being press-ganged in the Blood War for those wandering Avernus, and movement between the various layers is subject to strict scrutiny. If you get caught somewhere you aren't allowed to be, you get killed.

    It should also be kept in mind that the Upper Layers are more easily accessible by design (or at least some sections of them): the devils want to trade and make business with planar visitors. However, the deeper you go, the higher chance there is of being arrested and/or killed on sight, with Nessus itself being off-limits for anyone not personally approved of by Asmodeus.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    I think the most common theme of everyone who lives in the nine hells is that they are all prisoners there in some capacity. Importantly their predicament is due to their own choices, they're in a hell of their own making. Besides fear, the feeling you should feel for devils is pity.
    That applies to all souls whose alignment brought them to the Lower Planes. Granted, the theme would be less common in the Abyss, where only some demons are formed from these souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post
    It should also be kept in mind that the Upper Layers are more easily accessible by design (or at least some sections of them): the devils want to trade and make business with planar visitors.
    I remember Crawford saying in an interview that Asmodeus wanted Avernus to be a paradise of temptation, like a big shop window for everything an infernal contract could get you. But the Blood War making it to Avernus put that project literally in ruins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    My impression of Baator's soul trade is that every devil belongs to another devil, which themself belongs to another, and so on, up to an archdevil or possibly Asmodeus.
    Yes, but in a way that resembles feudalism more than chattel slavery. Serfs aren't free, but they generally also aren't micromanaged by a guy with a whip either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Yes, but in a way that resembles feudalism more than chattel slavery. Serfs aren't free, but they generally also aren't micromanaged by a guy with a whip either.
    When you arrive in Baator as one of many new lemures, you soon find yourself under the "care" of someone who lives to swing spiked chains. You might be herded to serve as cannon fodder in the Blood War, or be put on display in a soul marketplace.

    If you are lucky, you eventually get promoted to an imp. That means you are now, at best, a familiar. Or you might take part in fun activities such as:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes p11
    Dispater's paranoia affects everything he does. For example, he often dispatches orders and other missives by branding his message on the back of an imp. The imp wears a leather vest that conceals the message, and the laces of the vest are knitted into the imp's heart. If the vest is removed by anyone other than the intended recipient, that act kills the imp and causes its body to disintegrate before the message can be read.
    Further up the infernal ladder, things become much more refined. You start being treated like a serf, imagine yourself a prized servant, or even begin to flaunt fancy titles of nobility. But any mistake could mean demotion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I remember Crawford saying in an interview that Asmodeus wanted Avernus to be a paradise of temptation, like a big shop window for everything an infernal contract could get you. But the Blood War making it to Avernus put that project literally in ruins.
    That's an OK start, but now what it needs is a bunch of devils with forced smiles who have been ordered to pretend that Avernus still is that paradise of temptation.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    Read Dante's Inferno. Or any comic book adaptation of it. Or... really, any mythological description of various hellscapes.

    Roleplaying games and their supplements are strictlt derivative, secondary sources. Just go back to the real sources.

    or watch the anime



    the thing i loved and hated about this anime was how dark it felt. Not a happy place. Good show if you are going for bad feelings.

    and yes, both the anime and DnD 9 hells are both based on Dante's Inferno.

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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Basing it too closely off the Divine Comedy makes for a hell that doesn't make sense in D&D though. The Divine Comedy/Dante's Inferno hell makes sense because it exists solely to torture people who are condemned there by their sins, it doesn't really interact with anything outside itself except mortals and even then only extremely rarely.

    D&D hell is not divinely mandated punishment, nor is it isolated or lacking in enemies who can and will charge in with fire and sword, so it can't really waste time on ironic cruelty unless it actively achieves something. Every soul beng flayed or boiled perpetually is one that isn't working in mines or factories or fighting against the demons. Plus the more evil someone was in life the more powerful they are likely to be when turned into a devil, so the most wicked souls are more useful being transformed straight into a leadership position.

    Of course there's also the problem of almost everyone in D&D hell having no memories of their mortal life and starting out as a mewling blob of mindless flesh, so their suffering isn't even meaningful when it does happen.

    Dante's Inferno type hell would actually make more sense for the Abyss and D&D demons, pointless eternal torture for things done in life makes far more sense for creatures who exist solely to destroy and torment than it does for creatures who decided that the former needed to be stopped no matter how much pain their methods caused.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    The hells are infinite, yes?

    then this question is easy: they are like however you want them to be like, because in an infinite tapestry of possibility, eventually all possibilities will inevitably happen. Therefore any possibility you come up with or like is in some way, shape or form a correct depiction in some part of hell. the real answer to the question is "All the above and below". take any of the answers in this thread you want and use them however you like.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    DnD 9 hells are ... based on Dante's Inferno.
    More "inspired by" than "based on". Saying Baator is based on The Inferno is a bit like saying that Devil May Cry is based on The Inferno

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Basing it too closely off the Divine Comedy makes for a hell that doesn't make sense in D&D though. The Divine Comedy/Dante's Inferno hell makes sense because it exists solely to torture people who are condemned there by their sins, it doesn't really interact with anything outside itself except mortals and even then only extremely rarely.

    D&D hell is not divinely mandated punishment
    but wasn't that the point of the Pact Primeval though? Or at least the parts that weren't fine print?
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    but wasn't that the point of the Pact Primeval though? Or at least the parts that weren't fine print?
    As I understand it the Pact Primeval was more about acknowledging the nascent hell and it's role as the vanguard of the forces of Law and the rights and duties it has, rather than the collected gods and powers deciding to create a place to punish people they didn't like. Indeed part of the point was that many gods and other powers didn't want to let it exist because they consider all evil unconscionable.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

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    d6 Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    You need remember imps are there as messengers. They offer deals, give plot hooks, tour guides, anyone who is there without a contract is free to make a contract.

    No side is better or worse than the other. Just a different flavor of magic.

    Assume torture on a regular basis is synchronize. This is where the tour guide takes you first. These were our enemies.

    So much like Captain Hook you are asked to come and sign the book.

    Also those who stay of free will are highly prized and bribed for the first 1,000 years or so.
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    Default Re: What are Nine hells REALLY like?

    After reading the posts on Dante's Inferno, I felt like trying to attribute a sin to each layer of Baator.

    A couple seem straightforward:
    • Avernus is a war zone, ruled by an angel who fell when her wrath consumed her.
    • Minauros is a miserly realm, ruled by a guy whose name literally means greed.

    Dis fits neatly between Avernus and Minauros. It is a realm of mines and forges, ruled by an arms dealer (who wears the most polyvalent of magical armors. Sounds like an evil version of this guy, doesn't it?). While that's awesome, I have no idea what to write there other than wrath/greed.

    Then there is Phlegethos. This one, ruled in tandem by the dutiful Belial and the suave Fernia, is known for its tribunals and its pleasure palaces. An odd combination for sure. But it sorta comes together when one learns that it is the place where devils get demoted or promoted, as "the flames either bring searing agony that reduces a devil to a weaker form, or ecstatic joy that transforms it into a mightier being" (MToF p13). With that, I am going to say lust.

    Malbolge is Hell within Hell, a place of prisons and torture chambers where devils are sent for having failed their duties. Yet its own ruler, Glasya, has set up a thieves' guild there. You sure you are lawful-aligned, guys? Anyway, I am leaning on envy.

    Stygia, Maladomini, Cania and Nessus... These are all wastelands, the last three hiding archives, laboratories and the head honcho's palace. And well, I am drawing a blank there.

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