New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    When you hear that something is a "Demon Lord", what does that make you think? What must be true given that titles, and what might a given Demon Lord be capable of?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    At base, that they're strong enough to beat up anybody who tries coming along trying to take the title by force. Exceptions mainly exist in the form of peers who for one reason or another don't want to pick the fight. (Largely due to the fight being riskier/costlier than they're willing to tolerate.) Also that they have underlings, either directly intimidated or ones who decide that glomming onto a demon lord for protection beats striking it out on their own.

    In D&D this includes lots of magical power, but that's because magic in D&D is strong and everybody important has some. In other settings they probably have some supernatural powers because demons are supernatural by definition and because a sufficiently strong supernatural force causes reality to bend a bit as a general fictional rule, but a demon lord whose primary shtick is being a good brawler (and tactician, to allow them to project their power beyond the distance they can personally punch) is entirely plausible.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Earth and/or not-Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    "Demon lord" is an entirely setting-specific concept. Absent a specific setting, I don't make much in the way of assumptions. A demon lord is probably some sort of powerful evil supernatural being with a bunch of similar but less powerful minions, but none of that is guaranteed to be the case for any given demon lord.
    Last edited by InvisibleBison; 2023-08-15 at 05:57 PM.
    I'm making a webcomic, featuring absurdity, terrible art, and alleged morals.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    As InvisibleBison said, too dependent on the context of the setting.

    Forgotten Realms for instance, the title of "Demon Prince" held by Demogorgon literally gives him the ability to force other Demons under his control if they get in his range. Meanwhile apparently anime and some literature has taken "Demon Lord" and "Demon King" as an easy way of saying "this guy is evil and scary, he's a threat take him seriously." One has special powers beyond what the character normally shows because by the setting the title itself has that power and thus it has reason to be fought over and contested in whatever way other Demons can. One is equivalent to saying "here's the BBEG, when they're on screen you know the protagonists are in danger."

    As such, as a general title "Demon Lord" really depends too much on your setting choices and the context you want to show for it to have a clearly stated power associated with it. How you use it and what you use it for is down to what you want out of the character you give the title and what your setting's tone and level of power allow without breaking the internal logic.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Dominion and lordship over other demons.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Paris, France
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    "Demon lord" is an entirely setting-specific concept. Absent a specific setting, I don't make much in the way of assumptions. A demon lord is probably some sort of powerful evil supernatural being with a bunch of similar but less powerful minions, but none of that is guaranteed to be the case for any given demon lord.
    For instance, I have been following the manga/anime That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and if I understand the setting correctly:
    • Anyone can declare themself a demon lord, if they think themself strong enough (and/or entertaining enough) that other demon lords will humor them.
    • In particular, it is not necessary to be a demon, i.e. a sort of darkness elemental, to become a demon lord. But the first demon lord was, and is, indeed a demon.
    • A strong argument to claim the title is to have given multiple monsters a name (which upgrades them, like from goblin to hobgoblin) without dying from the energy drain.
    • You can't be the subordinate of a demon lord and still call yourself a demon lord, even if you are in fact stronger than some demon lords.
    • That's all before getting into "true" demon lords, who start with a potential, a "seed", that must be awakened through a specific ritual. It eventually becomes a plot-driving point.
    PbP characters: Irides, Tanael

    Homebrew planar maps for D&D 5e:
    Standard planes: English / French / Medal
    Additional planes: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)
    For spelljamming: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    S@tanicoaldo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    When you hear that something is a "Demon Lord", what does that make you think? What must be true given that titles, and what might a given Demon Lord be capable of?
    Is it a social title?

    Or like a magical thing?
    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's like somewhere along the way, "freedom of speech" became "all negative response is censorship".
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning"

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    When you hear that something is a "Demon Lord", what does that make you think? What must be true given that titles, and what might a given Demon Lord be capable of?
    I guess the most important thing for me is 'non-generic'. It should not be possible to get a good handle on the capabilities of an entity that goes by 'Demon Lord' just by knowing its Type/Species/Variant/Whatever. Furthermore, there should be a degree of history to the entity - not just something which happens to be very powerful, but something which schemed and took actions in the past to become that powerful, in some rare or anomalous fashion.

    So e.g. 'this demon seized a major interplanar conduit and has been doping itself on the souls that pass through' or 'this demon seized the focal point of an entire layer of the Abyss, and as such as divine-like control over that layer' or 'this demon did a trick with a modified Thought Bottle to store up the results of fifty cycles of reincarnation through the demonic hierarchy and effectively gestalted an already potent 20HD demonic chassis against 20 levels of a character class' or whatnot. But there should be a story to it, a reason for that power, and a reason why everyone doesn't just have that power - something to uncover, some set of relationships with other unique demons (or comparable entities), etc. Not to mention centuries of accumulation of magical items, artifacts, etc. It doesn't have to strictly be power in a 'solo monster for a boss encounter' sense, but should definitely not be obvious and straightforward on the basis of for example 'is a balor'.

    I'd even be fine with a 'demon lord' that isn't technically a demon, but is just a unique entity of that sort who is actively ruling over a layer of hell/abyss/whatever.

    As far as overall power scale, a 'demon lord' should definitely be at the upper end - these are entities which have taken an openly adversarial stance against large swaths of the cosmology, including usually their own underlings, and have held (or should be able to hold) their position for centuries without being toppled. That again doesn't have to just be because of boss monster stats power; it could be because of strategic considerations (fortifications, protections, properties of their layer - maybe they're paste if they ever leave, but any god who goes there trying to pick a fight risks losing their divinity), blackmail, magically binding networks of contracts, esoteric transformations entwining the entity's existence with fundamental aspects of the cosmos so they can't really truly be killed without shenanigans, they can Agent Smith into any demon which is bound to serve under them, whatever.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    the technical neutrally correct answer of "it depends" has already been stated

    I will instead take "Demon Lord" as an archetype, and not pretend as if there isn't a archetypal assumption already out there.

    superpower wiki has
    Demon Lordship

    which provides a wide range of powers that you can assume them capable of. it is reasonable to assume they're personally strong as a demon themselves, have authority of demons both magically and socially, and capable of many magic associated with these things, as an archetype is never a clearly defined thing but rather a fuzzy ideal that be adapted, altered and adjusted to fit specific situations but always these general assumptions as a base. just saying "it depends" leaves too much open to interpretation.

    Tvtropes has:
    Demon Lords and archdevils
    generally defining them as a lord of hell that isn't the top dog but still pretty powerful, and commanding a lot of demons.
    but also has:
    Maou the Demon King
    an article on the stock japanese character in stock japanese fantasy settings. this is much the same but can include rulership over any number of monsters like vampires, werewolves, undead and so on due to cultural differences, subversions about them are common though.

    generally, the archetype is personally powerful, has political and social authority and probably magical authority over demons, is evil, and probably very magically powerful as well, they often have a big evil overlord lair in mordor or hell, talk about smothering the world in darkness, pretty simply villain stuff, they're not a complex archetype to figure out from research general depictions in pop-culture.
    I'm also on discord as "raziere".


  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    61.2 N, 149.9 W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...mon#Ars_Goetia

    Crocell (also called Crokel or Procell) is the 49th spirit of the Goetia, manifesting as an angel with a tendency to speak in dark and mysterious ways. Once a member of the Powers, he is now a Duke of Hell who rules over 48 legions of demons. When summoned by a conjuror, he can teach geometry and other liberal sciences. He can also warm bodies of water, create the illusion of the sound of rushing waters, and reveal the location of natural baths.
    It's a starting point.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tennessee (USA)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Well, personally, what I do is that I give them the sorcerer bloodline powers for demons, treating their hit dice as their sorcerer level, likewise adding the bloodline spells as spells known or as 1/day spell like, depending on the demon.

    after all, if this is what someone with the dilute blood can do, why not the lords, the ones who presumably have learned how to properly manipulate their powers. So for demon lords that results in greater strength, flaming claws, more and more powerful minion summons. Not a bad start if the demon lord was already a powerful demon variety.
    if I'm upgrading a lesser demon variety to lord status I'll probably gestalt them with a thematically appropriate class. Usually one that makes them more physical (like say, barbarian, bloodrager or skald) or that increase their support powers (like bard, sorcerer, oracle or again, skald) . They may also need more HD, depending on the demon
    likewise if they have worshipers and domains they grant their worshipers, they should have those domains too, as if they were a cleric to themself
    this gives the demon lord a lot of things they can do, makes them flashier, gives them options, but doesn't make them *that* much stronger because few of those things actually synergize

    edit: this is mostly a pathfinder type answer

    edit2: this also assumes they're on the offensive and you're not fighting them on their home terf. They should have control of their own realm, with the size and utility of that realm reflected in their power somehow. They should be looking for ways to expand their influence, which puts them and their agents (they should have underlings, they're a lord) on the offensive, but if you're on their home terf expect at minimum several of their attacks to have entangling effects as the ground or walls melt beneath the feet of the people they're fighting, expect them to ignore difficult terrain as the obstructions move out of the way for them, and expect them to move faster than they should. For particularly well developed domains, add stuff like fast healing described as veins of energy pulsing towards them through the floor, and maybe also let them bring certain structures in the area to life. Maybe also give them a mirror image or blur style buff

    a demon lord in their own domain is a final boss or secret boss tier threat
    Last edited by Lord Foul; 2023-08-16 at 08:58 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    When you hear that something is a "Demon Lord", what does that make you think? What must be true given that titles, and what might a given Demon Lord be capable of?
    You are aware, that you are in the general roleplaying section, not the D&D specific one, right ?

    Well, for me the godlike rulers of demons in other planes are "Archdemons", not "Demon Lords". "Demon Lord" is something that i nearly exclusively associate with the Isekai Genre, where demons are often just another race, less some otherworldly entity.

    The Demon Lord is always the strongest demon and has utterly ridiculous powers. There are settings that allow multiple Demon Lords or allow ascension to Demon Lord but as many, where the ttle is unique and only given from birth on.

    However, the Demon Lord has always a mandate to rule over al demons or even all monsters. Often he has abilities that make these submit to him or they have a strong tradition to do so. In multi-Demon Lord settings the Demon Lords might fight each other over followers.

    The counterpart of the Demon Lord is always the Hero. Someone with a Hero title gets is the chosen one to fight the demon Lord and often has comparable power. Though the Hero power is often more focused on duelling a single target where the Demon Lords gets more utility and minion powers.

    Fate always tries to make those two fight. Often, when one is born, the other gets created as well. But it is not uncommon that those two struggle to end this cycle of violence.



    Also for some reason female Demon Lords are still called Demon Lords, not Demon Lady.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2023-08-16 at 04:06 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    This is entirely setting and context specific. Perhaps the most common use cases are:

    1) it is a lord who is, like, really bad news (see also: Dark Lord, Demon King, Devil King, etc.)

    2) it is a lord who rules over some demons. Typically goes together with 1), but not always.

    3) A really powerful demon, lordship not required.

    In my setting, it isn't really used. The closest thing is "(D)evil God". It's a title granted to people and entities who've gained such a fearsome reputation that people have begun worshipping them as divine powers, in ways that fly in the face of (the setting's) mainstream religion. They aren't all of one nature and as such don't necessarily have any powers in common. I note much of the same applies to "god(s)". "God" is a term humans use of things that inspire awe in them. It isn't a sharply-defined natural category.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    The Demon Lord has dominion over an area. Details vary a lot. He could be the Lord of the demonic equivalent of France. He could be the demonic equivalent of Sealand. But they have their own territory, in or out of hell.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    A Demon "Lord" in the context of one who rules should IMO:

    1: Be generally more powerful than their subordinates, though some of their subordinates may be equal or more powerful, but these should be shown to either be True Believers or have no interest in rulership. "More powerful" can also come in the form of being more clever, 3 steps ahead of any plots against them.
    2: Should be capable of something, even if it is difficult for them, legendary. Something others either aspire to be capable of, or thought was impossible. Having done it is a good foundation for being a Lord, but in those contexts the Lord should be capable of something else to avoid them being a 1-trick pony.
    3: Depending on your presentation of demons, should generally either be feared or loved (or both).
    4: Depending on your presentation of the demon kingdom over which they rule, should be involved in matters of state. On this note, it's entirely possible for a weaker demon to be a "Demon Lord" on the simple grounds that they're interested/skilled in the role. Other demons respond to this as they are inclined.

    ---
    Without more details its difficult to say anything more specific.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I guess the most important thing for me is 'non-generic'. It should not be possible to get a good handle on the capabilities of an entity that goes by 'Demon Lord' just by knowing its Type/Species/Variant/Whatever. Furthermore, there should be a degree of history to the entity - not just something which happens to be very powerful, but something which schemed and took actions in the past to become that powerful, in some rare or anomalous fashion.
    I would say this is not strictly necessary. Some 'generic' demons like balors and klurichir are powerful and rare enough that in some cases they might be able to lay claim to their own Abyssal layers. At least in D&D 3.5, they rivaled or even surpassed some of the weaker unique lords in power.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Dominion and lordship over other demons.
    I'd go more generic 'able to command the loyalty of a multitude of demons'. This allows any creature to hold the title, and while the majority will likely be demons it's also likely that divinities will hold the title, and even sufficiently powerful mortals.

    Not to be confused with Hell's popular export Demon Lars


    Another definition I've seen is a demon able to lay claim to a sufficiently broad and important metaphysical domain, although that'll tend to lead to Condition A being filled as well.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    @Quertus

    So before this thread vanishes, could you actually explain what prompted this question or whether the results helped you/conformed to your expectation ? It doesn't seem that there is enough to keep a discussion going otherwise.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    While I find that I am often in disagreement with the creators of various media, to me the distinction between demons and devils is that demons are about force while devils are about rules.
    And a "lord" rules over others.
    So a demon lord rules over other demons. He got that position by force, and keeps it by preventing others who would take it from him by force.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyOne View Post
    While I find that I am often in disagreement with the creators of various media, to me the distinction between demons and devils is that demons are about force while devils are about rules.
    And a "lord" rules over others.
    So a demon lord rules over other demons. He got that position by force, and keeps it by preventing others who would take it from him by force.
    That's also seriously setting dependent. For example, in Magic: the Gathering, demons are mainly black mana, and while they are seriously powerful and often destructive, many also make pacts and grant dark powers, especially the big named ones. Devils are red mana, very destructive, often tied to fire and fire magic, and many of them are very minor spirits who play pranks and then stab people and burn the place down.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2023-08-18 at 06:54 AM.
    "And now I see, with eyes serene,
    The very pulse of the machine."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyOne View Post
    While I find that I am often in disagreement with the creators of various media, to me the distinction between demons and devils is that demons are about force while devils are about rules.
    There being a distinction is largely a D&D invention and D&D didn't do a good job choosing which creature is called what.

    Compare and contrast with (Shin) Megami Tensei or such, where nearly every kind of supernatural being is called a d(a)emon, in keeping with the word's original meaning of "spirit" (roughly), but the (A)D&D alignment split between different types of demons (Law versus Chaos, as in Collectivism/Altruism versus Individualism/Egoism) is a core part of the setting and drives the conflict in most games.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    You are aware, that you are in the general roleplaying section, not the D&D specific one, right ?
    Yes, quite intentionally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    @Quertus

    So before this thread vanishes, could you actually explain what prompted this question or whether the results helped you/conformed to your expectation ? It doesn't seem that there is enough to keep a discussion going otherwise.
    I was trying to see, I suppose, if the word / phrase / title had not only entered common usage, but in any way that gave it... definition, purpose, function, meaning. That is, does the phrase exist and stand on its own, outside of a context, in a way that enables people to communicate using just the phrase, but not a context? It appears that the answer is "no", that the general consensus is that the expectations of a Demon Lord are usually generally setting- or context-specific, even if a few general traits (like "lord" implying underlings) do carry over in a setting-agnostic manner.

    In a larger (?) sense, I (as far as I remember) once and only once tried to run a BBEG. The party took said BBEG as their patron. I thought perhaps i might try to run a game with a "Demon Lord", but wasn't sure what that would mean to the players, so I thought it behooved me to inquire wrt what the phrase meant, what imagery / capabilities / whatever it evoked. MY (perhaps incorrect) takeaway thus far is that it is likely difficult to generate a wrong answer to the prompt for a Demon Lord.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedMage125's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    I'm on a boat!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    In addition to lordship over other demons, I expect a "Demon Lord" to also be a unique creature. As opposed to, say, a Balor or Marilith.
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

    Where do you fit in? (link fixed)

    RedMage Prestige Class!

    Best advice I've ever heard one DM give another:
    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

    Second Eternal Foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Sometimes there's a bit of overlap, at least in a D&D context, between unique and non-unique - like - the demon queen of Mariliths is a Marilith - but she has unique traits - bigger, more limbs (8 instead of 6), extra powers:


    https://dungeonsdragons.fandom.com/wiki/Shaktari
    Marut-2 Avatar by Serpentine
    New Marut Avatar by Linkele

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    I think the most powerful non-unique demons can also qualify to be demon lords if they manage to seize themselves an area of the Abyss to control. For example, the myrmyxicuses are independent rulers of their own regions of the Abyssal ocean, and are not loyal to any of the unique demon princes.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I was trying to see, I suppose, if the word / phrase / title had not only entered common usage, but in any way that gave it... definition, purpose, function, meaning. That is, does the phrase exist and stand on its own, outside of a context, in a way that enables people to communicate using just the phrase, but not a context? It appears that the answer is "no", that the general consensus is that the expectations of a Demon Lord are usually generally setting- or context-specific, even if a few general traits (like "lord" implying underlings) do carry over in a setting-agnostic manner.

    In a larger (?) sense, I (as far as I remember) once and only once tried to run a BBEG. The party took said BBEG as their patron. I thought perhaps i might try to run a game with a "Demon Lord", but wasn't sure what that would mean to the players, so I thought it behooved me to inquire wrt what the phrase meant, what imagery / capabilities / whatever it evoked. MY (perhaps incorrect) takeaway thus far is that it is likely difficult to generate a wrong answer to the prompt for a Demon Lord.
    I agree. It is not well established enough to use the phrase alone to set expectation and later subverting them to generate some surprise.

    And even if it were, there is always the fact that Anos Voldigoad is probably more widely known than Demogorgon. So even if there was some understood meaning it might not be the one you were going for.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Yeah, I think Demon Lord is pretty open. The only hard requirement is somehow being above other demons, yet if you told me that the Demon Lord was a particularly vicious warlord (a demon only in the moral sense) I would buy that too.

    On the other hand if you want the archetypical demon lord: A demon lord is a demon that rules over other demons and has stronger demonic powers. (Demonic powers can be anything from dark energy blasts to seven deadly sin themed stuff).

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedMage125's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    I'm on a boat!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Sometimes there's a bit of overlap, at least in a D&D context, between unique and non-unique - like - the demon queen of Mariliths is a Marilith - but she has unique traits - bigger, more limbs (8 instead of 6), extra powers:


    https://dungeonsdragons.fandom.com/wiki/Shaktari
    Totally agree. The Queen of Succubi, for example (Mal...something), is a sort of uber-succubus. But she's still unique, and not a run of the mill demon with a title.
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

    Where do you fit in? (link fixed)

    RedMage Prestige Class!

    Best advice I've ever heard one DM give another:
    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

    Second Eternal Foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What powers should a "Demon Lord" have?

    Often when there's a "Maou" in Japanese media they have some kind of deep connection to the forces of magic which create/mutate monsters - their birth is triggered by the land becoming sufficiently saturated with mana/miasma, and/or they cause such conditions by coming into existence. Spoiler video for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

    This can go hand-in-hand with the Demon World being a hellhole filled with dangerous wildlife, where mana is so concentrated that it's difficult for normal humans to survive there; sometimes the demonfolk* are invading simply because they think humans getting all the nice places to live is a cosmic injustice (and don't consider cohabitation an option).

    You also sometimes get species-specific examples, like a super-powerful "Orc Lord" being born when a horde of orcs grows large enough, which may have come from the WAAAGH concept in WH40K.

    * "Mazoku" range from embodiments of evil to just odd-looking humans depending on the setting, the only constant being that they're inherently magical. Often their relationship to the Demon Lord is similar to the one drow have with Lolth, if Lolth physically lived in their capital (i.e. leader is inherently evil, populace is still pretty evil but only culturally and has room for outliers).




    IIRC the "reincarnating Demon Lord" thing started with Dragon Quest 3, where the final boss taunted the hero that his victory would not last, for he foreseen the existence of the DQ 1 and 2 villains. So not so much literal reincarnation as "they will carry on my will".

    Then Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai had a Maou who earned that title because he was the most powerful member of the demonfolk living on the surface, had his sights set on world conquest, and had a few unique powers including an aura which caused monsters across the surface world to become more violent and cruel as long as he was alive. Strong-willed monsters could resist this, but will goes hand in hand with ambition so many of them were already trying to carve out their own kingdoms anyway.
    Then there was a Grand Maou who recruited him as a lieutenant. It's unclear if he has any unique powers beyond being a demonfolk, but he rules vast territories and is a genius sorcerer nicknamed "The God of the Underworld" who has used life-extending magic to grow continuously stronger for millennia with the aim of one day killing the gods.
    The person with the title "Hero" is likewise just a regular guy who was really strong, smart and inspiring. There is a reincarnating hero in the setting, but they're more of a neutral figure assigned to prevent humans, demons and dragons from wiping each other out (and possibly the inspiration for Avatar).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •