Hell vs the Abyss


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I was mulling over a background idea for a new Pathfinder campaign where Hell is at war with the Abyss.

In short: Asmodeus decides to expand his territory, his legions have grown in strength and numbers over many eons and they stand ready for a major invasion. But where to start? Invading any of the good or neutral realms seems a risky proposition, no doubt they would all aid each other and he could end up fighting a war on three or more fronts at once. But the Abyss has no allies, demons are hated by everyone, they are disorganised and their territory is vast, possibly infinite in extent. Asmodeus shores up his defences by signing non-aggression pacts with Abaddon, and the neutral and good realms and then marches his forces into the Abyss.

From this point events could transpire in many different ways, and I have not decided yet where the PCs fit into all of this. I thought I would open this up to general discussion. What are the consequences of Hell being at war with the Abyss?


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
What are the consequences of Hell being at war with the Abyss?

Daemons get free reign for a while. And nobody wants that.


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so you want to recreate the Blood War


Blackvial wrote:
so you want to recreate the Blood War

I don't know anything about the Blood War, but would appreciate anything you could tell me about it or if you could perhaps direct me to some links that would be great.


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The Blood War.


Gisher wrote:
The Blood War.

Thanks for the link.

Interesting, it gives a possible origin story for Asmodeus. It also matches up with my initial assumption of the contest being an unwinnable war for either side. Whilst Hell might be better organised, the Abyss has far greater numbers.

However, my next idea was that Asmodeus would not start a war without a devious plan to ensure he would win. One of the ideas that came to me was that Asmodeus had developed a magical technology that converts other outsiders into devils over a long period of time. Built like an iron maiden it ingrains the principles of evil and law over a long period of time through a slow painful process of brainwashing and torture. The more powerful the outsider the longer it takes to break them. Initially the forces of Hell would make no impact on the Abyss, but over time Hell's legions would grow substantially in number and the balance of the multiverse would be at risk...

Lantern Lodge

What is the setting?

If it's Golarion there are quite a few other factors impacting it. For starters, while the Qlippoth hate all Demons with an enormous passion they would, most likely, hate lawful invaders of their ancestral homes even more.

If the cosmic balance starts to shift then the Aeons would also come into play, working alongside (not with) the demons in this case.

The Daemons, who created the first demons, would probably also make a move though what they would do I'm not sure of.

What also might cause some issues is that both sides would actually have a full fledged deity on their side.

As for the material plane, do note that while Asmodeus has an entire country devoted to him Lamashtu actually counts many monstrous races among her followers and she has many cults as well.


@ Cuàn

You have raised some important considerations.

The setting is Golarion with all the normal history, deities and monsters.

I wasn't sure how the Daemons would respond, they are unlikely to honour the non-aggression pact, but the good aligned realms are still free to keep them in check, and perhaps Asmodeus would make a deal with the good aligned gods to ensure that Abaddon stays out of the conflict.

I was working on the assumption that the gods themselves would not (possibly could not) become directly involved except to negotiate with each other and give powers and orders to their minions.

I will likely use D&D 5th edition mechanics because I find Pathfinder too complex to run smoothly at high levels.


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Well, by head count Asmodeus' armies wouldn't stand a chance. When demons appeared, this happened:

Lords of Chaos wrote:
Yet the demons far outnumbered the other denizens of the Outer Rifts. Qlippoth, once the masters of the Abyss, were hunted to near extinction and fled into the deepest canyons where even the demons feared to go. Countless daemonic infestations were destroyed in a matter of minutes by the demonic tide—these fiends retreated in shock to their realms on Abaddon, and for many ages, that realm was also overrun by demonic invaders. Even on the shores of Hell itself, the change had an impact, as the infernal realm suffered a rare siege that it only barely held its own against.

If demons wouldn't fight themselves so much, the multiverse would drown in blood.

Anyway, I liked the idea of the Blood War. Given it's Asmodeus, his plan is likely to be quite complex, he could...

... ally with the qlippoth. They are not trustworthy, but they know the Abyss and really hate demons.
... neutralize / convert (not kill) CE mortals so their souls don't feed the Abyss.
... use specific outsiders or mortals against the demons. This might result in weird alliances like supporting the LG crusaders against Golarion's Worldwound.
... start mass production of the devices which turn outsiders. After all, one such device could be destroyed too easily and it can't turn enough outsiders in a given time.
... encourage demons' infighting.

Still:

* Abaddon's Horsemen are not trustworthy, they will backstab Hell as soon as they get an advantage out of it.
* The Abyss itself might fight the intruders, e.g. with new, specialized demons. Or it will corrupt them.
* Demons are numerous and might fight more or less united in the presence of such a threat.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:

Well, by head count Asmodeus' armies wouldn't stand a chance. When demons appeared, this happened:

Lords of Chaos wrote:
Yet the demons far outnumbered the other denizens of the Outer Rifts. Qlippoth, once the masters of the Abyss, were hunted to near extinction and fled into the deepest canyons where even the demons feared to go. Countless daemonic infestations were destroyed in a matter of minutes by the demonic tide—these fiends retreated in shock to their realms on Abaddon, and for many ages, that realm was also overrun by demonic invaders. Even on the shores of Hell itself, the change had an impact, as the infernal realm suffered a rare siege that it only barely held its own against.

If demons wouldn't fight themselves so much, the multiverse would drown in blood.

Anyway, I liked the idea of the Blood War. Given it's Asmodeus, his plan is likely to be quite complex, he could...

... ally with the qlippoth. They are not trustworthy, but they know the Abyss and really hate demons.
... neutralize / convert (not kill) CE mortals so their souls don't feed the Abyss.
... use specific outsiders or mortals against the demons. This might result in weird alliances like supporting the LG crusaders against Golarion's Worldwound.
... start mass production of the devices which turn outsiders. After all, one such device could be destroyed too easily and it can't turn enough outsiders in a given time.
... encourage demons' infighting.

Still:

* Abaddon's Horsemen are not trustworthy, they will backstab Hell as soon as they get an advantage out of it.
* The Abyss itself might fight the intruders, e.g. with new, specialized demons. Or it will corrupt them.
* Demons are numerous and might fight more or less united in the presence of such a threat.

Lots of cool ideas there and consequences to consider. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

What are the PCs supposed to be doing during this?
Because as near as I can tell there is not much reason for player characters to care unless they are an Asmodean or a Demon Cultist.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

What are the PCs supposed to be doing during this?

Because as near as I can tell there is not much reason for player characters to care unless they are an Asmodean or a Demon Cultist.

I am not sure yet.

At low levels I thought they would be refugees hiding in Gundrun from the various demon purges and it would just be a matter of survival. At mid-levels the demons start to withdraw their forces to combat the growing threat to the Abyss, it would become easier to travel around the Worldwound and the campaign would become more like a sandbox where the PCs can ignore the conflict entirely is they wish.


You could flip things, have demons invading Hell. Then you could have Asmodeus/random devil using the PC heroes for some of the plots to end/win the war.


Sekkan wrote:
You could flip things, have demons invading Hell. Then you could have Asmodeus/random devil using the PC heroes for some of the plots to end/win the war.

True, that is a good idea.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Sekkan wrote:
You could flip things, have demons invading Hell. Then you could have Asmodeus/random devil using the PC heroes for some of the plots to end/win the war.
True, that is a good idea.

I actually think this idea works better, given the portrayal of Asmodeus and his current interactions with other gods. I just don't see Asmodeus launching an invasion of the Abyss to solve the "demon problem". He would most likely either attack that at its root, by stamping out demon cults and bring LAW to evil folks on the mortal world, or potentially think of some way of sealing off the abyss.


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
In short: Asmodeus decides to expand his territory, his legions have grown in strength and numbers over many eons and they stand ready for a major invasion. But where to start? Invading any of the good or neutral realms seems a risky proposition, no doubt they would all aid each other and he could end up fighting a war on three or more fronts at once. But the Abyss has no allies, demons are hated by everyone, they are disorganised and their territory is vast, possibly infinite in extent. Asmodeus shores up his defences by signing non-aggression pacts with Abaddon, and the neutral and good realms and then marches his forces into the Abyss.

I think one like Asmodeus wouldn't keep things so straightforward as making a couple pacts here and there, and then have his own legions take the open road.

At the very least, he'd do something like subtly helping the Worldwound to grow, until Demons pose such a threat that the other forces (both good and not) are compelled to bring a large-scale purge. And there Asmodeus would kick in, acting as the half-hero like he did with Rovagug. That way, he'd have allies to spread the Demons' hatred (less losses and trouble for Hell), could claim new territories and other things, and would have manipulated everyone, much to his satisfaction.
In such a scenario, there's an infinity of ways the PCs could be involved, since it wouldn't be just a private quarrel between Hell and Abyss.


MMCJawa wrote:
potentially think of some way of sealing off the abyss

Hmmm...that brings up an interesting idea.

Thought experiment: What if Asmodeus discovered a way to transform the entirety of the Abyss into a dead magic plane?

This would be the first step to sealing it off and might give the legions of Hell the advantage they need against the demons. At the same time the transformation occurred, Asmodeus' forces and whoever else he could convince to cooperate could close in on all known portals to the Abyss and destroy them with whatever means necessary.

Meanwhile, the demons inside the Abyss would be trapped, their only option of escape being physical travel to whatever permanent portals they can find. This would create an enormous bottleneck as restless, panicked, and just plain furious demons flock out of the Abyss and stream into other planes.

The adventure might begin with inexplicable appearance of dretches or quasits from a previously unknown portal near a populated area. Later on the PCs might work to protect as many as they can from the horde, get involved in Asmodeus' plan to seal it off, or simply try to save their own skins.

And this seems like something Asmodeus might actually try, for the simple reason that, if executed well, it has a chance of actually being effective.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Astral Wanderer wrote:


At the very least, he'd do something like subtly helping the Worldwound to grow, until Demons pose such a threat that the other forces (both good and not) are compelled to bring a large-scale purge. And there Asmodeus would kick in, acting as the half-hero like he did with Rovagug. That way, he'd have allies to spread the Demons' hatred (less losses and trouble for Hell), could claim new territories and other things, and would have manipulated everyone, much to his satisfaction.
In such a scenario, there's an infinity of ways the PCs could be involved, since it wouldn't be just a private quarrel between Hell and Abyss.

from a cosmic perspective though...the worldwound kind of doesn't matter. It's a big frigging deal for the Inner Sea Region and Golarion, but there are thousands upon thousands of worlds out there, and no doubt there are probably hundred of planar ruptures littering the cosmos

Even from the Demon perspective, it's sort of a thing that mostly is of concern to Deskari and Baphomet. Most of the other demon lords don't seem that invested in the worldwound. You would need a far far larger cosmic event to get the support of most of the older gods and other outsider groups to back.

Now at the local level sure...Asmodeus supporting the crusade against the worldwound would benefit Cheliax in my mind, and maybe garner...some grudging admiration from the younger ascended gods, especially Iomedae. In my own head cannon Cheliax is far far more involved in the worldwound effort than in the official Golarion


I definitely like the idea of Asmodeus hatching a complex scheme which has others doing his dirty work. Perhaps he is responsible for weakening the barrier between the Prime Material Plane and the Abyss which has created Worldwounds in various places, Golarion being one.

I like the idea of the Abyss being cut off from the other planes. Maybe that could be the plan he sells to the other gods, but what he does not mention is that when the abyss is sealed off his devil making technology will be established inside and operating furiously...


The Worldwound was an example, of course it could be taken on a larger scale.
Though it's also true that the fact that there are countless worlds doesn't mean the taking of one isn't a cosmic event. Especially if it's a world like Golarion, which is a central node bursting with all different kinds of creatures and cultures, whereas many other worlds don't sport such quantities and varieties of life (and of souls embodied in such easily corrupted vessels).


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Not every world has a CE god stuck in the core of the planet....


I am with Mechagamera on this. I don't like flirting with infinities because it makes the finite pointless. Golarion is special to my mind, what happens there matters.


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Though they are one of the most under-powered Outsiders, I feel the Azatas wouldn't honor a non-aggression pact in this scenario. First, Azatas (CG) stand against every single thing Devils represent, and might actually resort to allying with (or at least fighting the same fight as) those from the Abyss. Another group of outsiders that would most likely not stand for Asmodeus' war are the Psychopomps, who represent Pharasma's goal of balance, and understand that CE is necessary for cosmic balance. I'm not trying to poke holes in your scenario, I'm just pointing out some possible ins your PC's could get through non-evil angles.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Gisher wrote:
The Blood War.

Thanks for the link.

Interesting, it gives a possible origin story for Asmodeus. It also matches up with my initial assumption of the contest being an unwinnable war for either side. Whilst Hell might be better organised, the Abyss has far greater numbers.

For YOUR game it certainly can. As far as Paizo canon goes, it's been stated by the devs that the last thing they wanted to do was repeat what Wizards had already done.

One of the changes they did in that way wss to make Asmodeus an out right diety.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For this plan to work, Asmodeus needs to make the demons appear to be dangerous aggressors who must be stopped at any cost. He should have no problem doing that even if he is the actual aggressor. Interesting things could happen when the player characters uncover what is really going on.


LazarX wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Gisher wrote:
The Blood War.

Thanks for the link.

Interesting, it gives a possible origin story for Asmodeus. It also matches up with my initial assumption of the contest being an unwinnable war for either side. Whilst Hell might be better organised, the Abyss has far greater numbers.

For YOUR game it certainly can. As far as Paizo canon goes, it's been stated by the devs that the last thing they wanted to do was repeat what Wizards had already done.

One of the changes they did in that way wss to make Asmodeus an out right diety.

About the same time he ascended to godhood in 4e......although to be fair, in PF, he was always a god (by his own account the first god) and in 4e he took godhood. The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide lists him as the God of Indulgences (as in selling indulgences, favored domain: trickery) in 5e, which suggests on the surface a somewhat different persona.

I agree with the devs that there isn't a need for a Blood War in Pathfinder. The current configuration of the outer planes means that proteans and demons can (and probably do) regularly attack all the other outer planes (not to mention fight among themselves), but more in the lines of harassment/raiding then mass invasion (the big exception being when the demons found out about the daemons role in their creation).


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An interesting thing would be to explore the aftermath of a "success".

Take the idea of closing the Abyss off, and Pharasma getting involved because CE souls now have nowhere to go.

Perhaps Asmodeus thought of that, so he put a bit more nuance into it.

Now, the Abyss is essentially a Roach Motel. Souls go in, but they never come out.

Fast forward however many years, and maybe Demons, which haven't been seen in forever, are starting to reappear. Simultaneously, people are disappearing.

See, Demons have figured out how to crawl back up through that hole. Or, more accurately, multiple holes.

They crawl up, clamber inside the tiny hole made by a CE person's soul, and then explode them from the inside, emerging into the Material.


Rynjin wrote:

An interesting thing would be to explore the aftermath of a "success".

Take the idea of closing the Abyss off, and Pharasma getting involved because CE souls now have nowhere to go.

Perhaps Asmodeus thought of that, so he put a bit more nuance into it.

Now, the Abyss is essentially a Roach Motel. Souls go in, but they never come out.

Fast forward however many years, and maybe Demons, which haven't been seen in forever, are starting to reappear. Simultaneously, people are disappearing.

See, Demons have figured out how to crawl back up through that hole. Or, more accurately, multiple holes.

They crawl up, clamber inside the tiny hole made by a CE person's soul, and then explode them from the inside, emerging into the Material.

Awesome idea!


With the CE souls having nowhere to go, what would happen to them?

How would Nethys feel about a whole infinite plane suddenly becoming magic-dead?

If it got to the point of no turning back, would the younger gods consider teleporting Rovagug to the abyss? Kinda like the God version of the Taresque, if you can't kill it, give it to another plane....

Since Hell is where LE souls go, and the Abyss is where CE souls go, where do Devils / Demons go when they die? Phantasma's private domain? How would she feel about all the new neighbors?

If Desna sided with Asmodeus, would her brother side with the demons out of spite? Now they have gods, not just a god, on their side...

What would happen if ANOTHER Worldwound opened up... or another several?

What if ... THINGS just started coming out of the Maelstrom?

What if, when you cut off the abyss, it glitches Necromancy?

With CE and LE fighting to the end (like they tend to do), almost destroying each other, would Aroden be "reincarnated" as a god of balance?

Not many facts, just things to think about... ;)


Snively wrote:
If it got to the point of no turning back, would the younger gods consider teleporting Rovagug to the abyss? Kinda like the God version of the Taresque, if you can't kill it, give it to another plane....

The Abyss would probably say 'Welcome back, baby'. It is a enormous ever-changing place, destroying most of itself all the time. So Rovagug would be just another destructive force there, the areas left behind by him will quickly recover.

And once the beast is loose, it might turn its attention to other planes...


Meanwhile, Lucifer, the original lord of Hell...


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My first response is "What? Aren't they doing that already?"

The dealings of powerful outsiders is usually just flavor text, but there is plenty there to show that there are various conflicts.

-Baphomet's backstory is that he was a more traditional minotaur demon lord, and he tried to impresss Lamatshu by raiding hell. That... went poorly. He got locked up in a super labyrinth and he had to take a long time to sneak his way out (thus why he is more goat and thin built). He also gained secrets or something- whatever lets him do a more traditional 'ram headed devil' motif.
-you tend to see more order's wrath and chaos hammer spells on the monster entries for these sides than you do their good/evil spell counterparts (theses spells are great AoE spells against a large number of fodder). This might indicate that they are specialized against eachother, rather than against good.
-Some devils like the Chortov are noted to guard hell's borders... from who? Good seems like it is more likely to reserve fights for places that actually matter (a fruitless invasion against someone's home turf seems like a waste of good soldiers). Demons seem like the only idiots crazy enough to routinely send raiding parties.

Personal point:
-The abyss must seem like the very antithesis to Asmodeus' doctrine. The entire founding of demons can be summarized as a story in mismanagement- everyone just dumped the souls of CE creatures into a backwater plane with only weird fungus/bug things in it. They thought the weak little maggot like soul things would be harmless. Then, one day, an evil idiot (a now very 'former' member of the Horsemen) started poking around with mad experiments until he made the first demon and started a chain reaction.

That must be maddening to Asmodeus- the souls were treated like toxic waste, and they were allowed to stew until some fool caused a melt down. Asmodeus would love to have had those souls- his entire system is built upon taking souls and bringing them under the yoke of his order so they fall into line (the Chortov are an example of what he would do with them; also, I am sure some CE people are dumb enough to sign infernal contracts too).

The only reason why this is a dead lock is because Asmodeus' well oiled machine makes for the perfect defense on his home turf, while the dog eat dog nature of demons means they are really good at mass producing demon lord class creatures (if they ever bothered to actually ally together, rather than infight, they are treated as a huge threat for the planes, as seen with the situation where Desna set them off by killing the demon lord Aolar, and Calistria had to do some serious political sabotage to prevent them from starting a war).

This theory also tends to fit well with the general theme of fantasy settings- the world is going into the dumpster, evil vastly outnumbers good, and the only reason why we aren't dead is because evil creatures are too focused on fighting eachother to be much of a threat. So we likely already have a 'blood war' situation going on... it is jsut more low key than previous editions.


I had forgotten about this thread. There are a lot of good ideas in there that I never had the chance to use.


Does it have to be demons? The qlippoth seem like more of a universally acceptable target. After all, demons have a goddess and several princes who bear good alliances with other divine forces. Qlippoth don’t have ANYTHING going for them.


Reduxist wrote:
Does it have to be demons? The qlippoth seem like more of a universally acceptable target. After all, demons have a goddess and several princes who bear good alliances with other divine forces. Qlippoth don’t have ANYTHING going for them.

From what I remember where the qlippoth live is so undesirable that nothing else would want to live there. I imagine they don't want to live there either, but the demons drove them there.


Holy thread necro, though an interesting thread.

It's worth noting that Desna caused a panic throughout the planes just by going in and sniping a single demon lord, nearly provoking in an united Abyssal counter-invasion of the upper planes.

And that was just from an in-and-out attack on a single lord.

Hell invading the Abyss could well result in multiple demon lords banding together to stop the invasion dead in its tracks, while launching their own counter-invasions.

Because while demons hate each other, they hate everyone else a lot more.


I would note that the Demons no longer have the numbers they did when they threatened Abaddon and Hell, that was a result of larvae building up over eons, and then all suddenly being transformed into Demons once one of the Horsemen showed the Abyss how. Take eons of time, all the souls the other planes took and sorted, lost in their smaller inter-planar conflicts, used for building material, simply left to Paradise. The Abyss had those numbers stored up doing nothing, and then suddenly it was an army with nothing to do and lots of targets.

Demons are still the most populous Outsider race, but that was a one-time effect. And going by what a Demon Lord thinks in Wrath of the Righteous:

Wrath of the Righteous spoiler:
Nocticula supposedly thinks that Baphomet and Deskari are stirring a hornets nest with their attack on the Material Plane, and that even if a counter attack from forces of Law and Good wouldn't succeed in taking the Abyss, it would kill a lot of Demons and presumably Demon Lords, disrupting the state of the Abyss and her own plans.

I'd guess that its more that other outsiders don't want to deal with another full scale planar war. It doesn't matter if Demons could 'win' or not, the vast number of them are impulsive enough to start one. Other Outsiders seem to keep the scale of war lower, with no full on invasions. And I interpreted the issue with Desna as being a full God crossing planar realms and assaulting a Demigod.

Sort of? Wrath of the Righteous spoiler:
You have a chance to kill Demon Lords, in their own realms, in Wrath, but you're just Mortals/Demigods/Whatever. A full on God is much more powerful, but shifts the balance of power if they act too directly I think.

I mostly see it as the other planes having settled into their low-burning planar wars, setting in place long-term plans against each other, and their armies meeting to war over specific objectives. If the Abyss really gets riled up, its back to Total War, with everyone taking huge losses. So they're trying to get the Demons to forget how much they'd enjoy that.


Dotting for later idea thievery.


An interesting idea, mentioned a lot in 3.0&3.5, is that the Abyss itself seems to be "alive" and have some kind of will of it's own. Treating it as a parasitic organism within the body of the cosmos could lead to a whole campaign trying to find a why to kill it. It would certainly be epic, since even the gods don't know how to do that.

An additional consideration is the size of the Abyss. It's written that it's so big that no one knows how deep it goes. Even the demons are afraid to go into the deeper parts.

In 3.x, Asmodeus was tasked with combating and containing the Abyss, before his fall. As it was the Abyss that slowly corrupted him, remains a constant resource sink, and a source of humiliation (he has basically failed his original task), he'd love to get rid of the Abyss altogether, so he can turn his full attention to conquest of the rest of the cosmos. If only a party of adventurers could somehow help him...... Since this probably involves digging up some very old and embarrassing things for Asmodeus, it might be easier to employ some non-devils who are less likely to leverage that kind of information against him.

Then there's the older-than-the-gods, proto-daemons, proto-demons, and proto-devils.....But that's a whole other can of worms and starting to drift off topic.


I feel like the wild card here is Nocticula, who has been set upon a path to godhood by the metanarrative, moving from CE to CN in the process. Hasn't happened yet in cannon, but it's heavily foreshadowed. She also has beef with Lamashtu and assassinates Abyssal VIPs for fun. You know who else has beef with Lamashtu? Literally the most powerful being in the setting, so that would be an interesting wrinkle.

So if Asmodeus can offer her something she needs to set up shop in the Maestrom, I'm sure she's happy to betray literally anybody in the abyss not subordinate to her already.


The relative abundance of demons seems like a temporary situation. Most mortals are neutrally aligned so over time you would expect the more extreme alignments to become less and less significant. Eventually the population of neutral spirits would be so large that what the extreme alignments do is irrelevant. I can't see any future where Pharasma would feel the need to take direct action.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
The relative abundance of demons seems like a temporary situation. Most mortals are neutrally aligned so over time you would expect the more extreme alignments to become less and less significant. Eventually the population of neutral spirits would be so large that what the extreme alignments do is irrelevant. I can't see any future where Pharasma would feel the need to take direct action.

Are they?

Most humans are neutral. But every time you turn over a rock, you are likely to be assaulted by a new CE race.

The universe is huge, and a lot of space has worlds dominated by incomprehensible evil forces. Can you be that confident when old ones and outer gods are plotting with various worlds?


There is nothing special about humans, dwarves, elves etc. They dominate because there are far more of of them.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
There is nothing special about humans, dwarves, elves etc. They dominate because there are far more of of them.

They dominate what? More of them, where?

It's entirely possible that evil aquatic races below the sea equal or surpass the population of terrestrial humanoids, they have both more area and volume to work with.

It's also entirely possible that the Dominion of the Black species' are some multiple of other species in the galaxy. There may be billions of galaxies that are entirely overrun by interstellar empires run by victorious malebranche from the shadows, funneling trillions of souls per day to hell.


If there were billions of galaxies teeming with chaotic evil beings it would probably be mentioned somewhere in the sourcebooks that the multiverse is out of balance and Pharasma would be working overtime.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
If there were billions of galaxies teeming with chaotic evil beings it would probably be mentioned somewhere in the sourcebooks that the multiverse is out of balance and Pharasma would be working overtime.

I mean there may be billions of galaxies full of CE nasties, it's just that Pharasma a) is supremely competent and b) not prone to sharing information.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
If there were billions of galaxies teeming with chaotic evil beings it would probably be mentioned somewhere in the sourcebooks that the multiverse is out of balance and Pharasma would be working overtime.

Well, the evidence is rather out in the open. The bestiary is full of various evil races. And gods with the evil domain outnumber good 2 to 1. Even with neutral added in, half are evil.

It is just kind of the theme for this style of table top games- the universe is falling apart, evil is overflowing, and there is always the threat of something world ending. It is all a set up to some rag tag team of heroes to come up and stop the apocalypse of the week.

Anyway, this 'balance' that you seek doesn't necessarily mean there is a 1 to 1 number of creatures of each alignment. If there was, then Asmodeus would likely steamroll everything since he has the biggest unified force.

It is entirely possible for there to be more CE creatures than anything else. The 'balance' of the outer planes is maintained because demons are horrible at playing nice with eachother, and the constant infighting means that they rarely amount to anything.


The idea that the majority of sentient beings are the most extreme and self destructive alignment (chaotic evil) seems illogical.

Having the majority as chaotic evil is an unstable and therefore temporary state of affairs, which is why a small rag tag bunch of adventures can have a meaningful impact. In the long run neutrality will win through sheer numbers, hence why Pharasma can sit back and relax.

Shadow Lodge

Souls don't have to transform into outsiders an a 1:1 basis.

Bestiary wrote:
With each evil mortal soul that finds its way into the Abyss, the ranks of the demonic hordes grows—a single soul can fuel the manifestation of dozens or even hundreds of demons, with the exact nature of the sins carried by the soul guiding the shapes and roles of the newly formed fiends.

So demons could have a numeric advantage even if CE isn't the most common mortal alignment.


@ Weirdo

That makes a lot more sense. Especially when compared with devils who can take centuries to form. I like the idea of the Abyss itself being sentient and maybe having a mechanism that extracts multiple demons from a single evil soul. Then possibly having Asmodeus scheming for ways to shutoff that ability.

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