What Makes Daemons and Demons Different?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Couldn't think of what the right place for this was so... here we go.

I understand the difference between devils and demons. But its very vague to me on the difference between demons and daemons. Both hate mortal life and want to extinguish it. Whats the difference besides "one is neutral good and one is chaotic good"? Thank you.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Demons don't hate mortal life. In fact, they love it - because what they really want to is to inflict pain, misery, corrupt and torment the flesh and watch everything burn and fall apart.

Daemons don't really care about torment and corruption, they just want to kill you as quickly and efficiently as possible so that they can consume your soul.


I alway thought it was just the Alignment to be honest :D

Demons = Chaotic Evil = A chaotic evil character does what his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are likely to be poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.

Chaotic evil represents the destruction not only of beauty and life, but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

Daemons = Neutral Evil = A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusions that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn't have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

Neutral evil represents pure evil without honor and without variation.


Devils = Lawful Evil = A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.

Lawful evil represents methodical, intentional, and organized evil.


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Demons — I break your body
Devils — I break your mind
Daemons — I break your very soul

When you stop to consider both the mind and body can drop off after death but the soul stays, having something break your supposedly immortal soul is rather messed.

Silver Crusade

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Demons love to play with their toys. THey love to do terrible things to them that were never intended to be done with them. They even love completely breaking those toys down into perversions of their former selves, making new toys to play with.

Daemons want there to be no toys at all.

Hence the demons teaming up with devils and angels to keep daemons from taking their toys. ;)

Demons can't quit mortals. It's a sick, twisted love affair they have with people, and more the most part they would not want a reality bereft of mortal souls. Daemons just plain hate mortals with a suicidal passion. Demons generally want to be, and want souls to be. Daemons generally want not to be, and wish the same for souls as well.

Daemons are the ultimate destroyers of hope, and are the most hated beings in the multiverse for it. Even if one is taken by demons and devils, and broken beyond recognition, there is still some glimmer of hope, no matter how miniscule. There is at least the potential for change. That's far more than daemons offer.


Odraude wrote:

Couldn't think of what the right place for this was so... here we go.

I understand the difference between devils and demons. But its very vague to me on the difference between demons and daemons.

"Daimones" were originally nature spirits; nature was not nuturing to ancient people. Nature could be really terrible.

Also, druids can have Neutral evil as an alignment. I think of any neutral alignment in terms of natural forces.

Daemons and Neutral Evil represent the savagery of nature. The attack of a grizzly bear or lioness; the terror of hurricane or earthquake; the endless dryness of a hot or cold desert.

Nature's cruel without malice and daemons destroy to destroy. Devils and Demons enjoy their form of evil. Daemons are unfeeling; they consume souls like animals feed. Daemons would care only about themselves and his/her private agenda. They think nothing of anyone or anything else. Like an animal, they only kill to feed or defend themselves. Wanton destruction is demonic and sadism is diabolic.

They are in my humble opinion anyway.

I only wish Pathfinder had found a better name for them; Daemon sound too similar to demon. Of course, the only name I can conjur is Dænom.

Dænom
Demon
Devil

It may stink but it sounds and looks a little different.


Thread Title wrote:
What makes Daemons and Demons deifferent?

One letter, Duh. *rimshot*

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Sorry, I couldn't resist.


unnambed wrote:

I only wish Pathfinder had found a better name for them; Daemon sound too similar to demon. Of course, the only name I can conjur is Dænom.

Dænom
Demon
Devil

It may stink but it sounds and looks a little different.

I just pronounce them "daimon", with a short "a", to distinguish them.


Thanks all.

I always pronounced daemons and Day-Mon.


Also were they live, on the wheel cosmological


Daemons, or Yugoloths, or whatever you call them, where never defined as well as Demons and Devils. Honestly, I was unimpressed by the flavor text in the Bestiary 2. Until paizo release an AP or a book focused on Daemons, the'll just be those Neutral Evil "Demons" for me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Maerimydra wrote:
Daemons, or Yugoloths, or whatever you call them, where never defined as well as Demons and Devils. Honestly, I was unimpressed by the flavor text in the Bestiary 2. Until paizo release an AP or a book focused on Daemons, the'll just be those Neutral Evil "Demons" for me.

Bestiary is world-neutral, and planar creatures have most of their ecology linked to the setting they operate in. The Great Beyond is a good source of information on daemons and their home, Abaddon.


Take a look at the Qlippoth (in Bestiary 2) - the original owners of the Abyss. It's suggested in their entry that the Daemons were responsible for the birth of the Demon race that forced them out of the higher layers. So if they seem to be similar, perhaps it's because that's the way the Daemons wanted it? The Qlippoth don't seem to be particularly interested in mortals or destruction*, so it would make sense for the Daemons to advance their agenda by replacing them. Demons are also a lot more "popular", allowing the daemons to advance their plots relatively unnoticed while more contemporary threats like demons and devils take up most of the attention of mortals and goodly outsiders. And if the demons get blamed for their plots and take the brunt of the retribution, all the better.

* - Or at least, they didn't originally. Giving the qlippoth a reason to believe they need to end sin - by ending all mortal life - also seems like a likely thread of the daemon plot.


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"...Daemons! F**k me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Abyssal qlippothism, Dude, at least it's an ethos." - Walter Sobchak, paladin


Daemons animal companions made out of your soul! Wait, no. That's Phillip Pullman.

amorangias wrote:


I just pronounce them "daimon", with a short "a", to distinguish them.

See, that just makes me think of Sailor Moon and makes me wonder if the Daemons are after your pure heart crystals.


The Dude Lebowski wrote:
"...Daemons! F**k me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Abyssal qlippothism, Dude, at least it's an ethos." - Walter Sobchak, paladin

I choked on my beer!


Biichama wrote:

Daemons animal companions made out of your soul! Wait, no. That's Phillip Pullman.

amorangias wrote:


I just pronounce them "daimon", with a short "a", to distinguish them.
See, that just makes me think of Sailor Moon and makes me wonder if the Daemons are after your pure heart crystals.

Never occurred to me. Still, I'd rather tamper with the pronunciation than with the name itself.


Daemons and Neutral Evil Druids have little if anything to do with each other. Neutral Evil Druids are more often than not death, winter, dark moon Druids of the Green Faith. Not that they wouldnt take on evil deities, they usually stay away from non natural things...


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We are the antithesis of mortality. We are the virus gnawing at the heartblood of creation. We are the universe grown sick of itself - tired, old, horrified of what it has created and its own failures. It suffers, it rejects itself, and it seeks to end the pain. We are creation's suicidal urge and the death of hope.

We care nothing for faith. Your suffering is without meaning. We desire only the cold silence of the soul's obliteration.

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Maerimydra wrote:
Daemons, or Yugoloths, or whatever you call them, where never defined as well as Demons and Devils. Honestly, I was unimpressed by the flavor text in the Bestiary 2. Until paizo release an AP or a book focused on Daemons, the'll just be those Neutral Evil "Demons" for me.
Bestiary is world-neutral, and planar creatures have most of their ecology linked to the setting they operate in. The Great Beyond is a good source of information on daemons and their home, Abaddon.

Yep, the Bestiary I and II are both world neutral, and largely without any heavy use of Golarion specific flavor. Hence different names for various unique celestial paragons in Bestiary I, no named archdaemons in the Bestiary II, etc. TGB has more flavor on them, and bits have appeared here and there in a few other sources.


Trelmarixian the Black wrote:

We are the antithesis of mortality. We are the virus gnawing at the heartblood of creation. We are the universe grown sick of itself - tired, old, horrified of what it has created and its own failures. It suffers, it rejects itself, and it seeks to end the pain. We are creation's suicidal urge and the death of hope.

We care nothing for faith. Your suffering is without meaning. We desire only the cold silence of the soul's obliteration.

Aaaand this is why many of us want you to write the book on daemons.


My understanding was more that the daemons don't want to destroy the entire multi-verse -- just all mortal life -- many it's the "q" guys I'm thinking of though.

Contributor

Abraham spalding wrote:
My understanding was more that the daemons don't want to destroy the entire multi-verse -- just all mortal life -- many it's the "q" guys I'm thinking of though.

Yes. They're quite focused on mortals (radically the opposite of AD&D yugoloths for instance), to the point of viewing the world through a lens of that hatred/obsession/self-loathing since they derived from mortals in the first place. So when the Archdaemon of Wasting talks about "creation" he's probably not even considering the planes beyond the Material.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I must say... I'm pretty stoked that folks answered this question before I got to the thread. Seems like I've been preaching the "Devils destroy the mind, demons destroy the body, daemons destroy the soul" sermon for years. Good to see it's taking root! :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BenS wrote:
Trelmarixian the Black wrote:

We are the antithesis of mortality. We are the virus gnawing at the heartblood of creation. We are the universe grown sick of itself - tired, old, horrified of what it has created and its own failures. It suffers, it rejects itself, and it seeks to end the pain. We are creation's suicidal urge and the death of hope.

We care nothing for faith. Your suffering is without meaning. We desire only the cold silence of the soul's obliteration.

Aaaand this is why many of us want you to write the book on daemons.

+1. James, hope you hand that book over to Todd soon :)


I think Todd should write it too.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So Daemons are the planar equivalent of nihilists?

Now I want to put them all in black turtle necks and give them Germanic accents.

Contributor

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There's an old adage in writing: Terror is fear for the body. Horror is fear for the soul.

Demons are pretty much all about the terror. The like the chaos and destruction, the blood, guts and gore, maybe even some nasty non-consensual sex mixed in. Devouring your soul can be fun too, but they're kind of ADHD and may forget about it when distracted by someone else to maim and murder.

Devils? They're the gentlemen and chessmasters. They want your soul, but they want it by the rules of the game. You have to sign it over, and even if you do, there may be flaws in the indenture that a competent lawyer might exploit. Getting a soul that they're not rightfully entitled to? That's not a bonus--that's an accounting error, and one they'll try to correct as soon as possible, ideally as some sort of "good faith" gesture in some diplomatic negotiations with Heaven in case Heaven is hiding someone out who broke a contract.

Daemons are cold, dispassionate, icy hate. They wish your soul destroyed but while the malice is pure, it is impersonal. If you escape them, they won't go after you in an obsessive-compulsive fit of pique like devils, or in a manic tantrum like a demon deprived of a toy, they'll just go after the next nearest soul. After all, their triumph is inevitable, and one soul is much the same as any other. You are not a special snowflake. You are one among billions and the glacier is infinitely patient, for sooner or later you will encounter each other again, and then you will be destroyed.

If a daemon gets your soul, it will not torture it with exquisite tortures based upon your individual sins and a whole Mikado song-and-dance routine about making the punishment fit the crime. That's what devils do. Nor will it be chased around in an orgy of chaos and destruction like demons are wont to do. Instead, it will be snuffed out coldly, but slowly, like a candle deprived of air or death by freezing. If the daemons cared about time, they would do it quickly, but they don't, as they know they are inevitable, and some time between "now" and "eventually" is more than sufficient.

Grand Lodge

I was thinking about starting a new Thread making an observation about Daemons but it looks like this Thread is appropriate to my post.

In the Bestiary 2 the Daemons, fluff-wise, seem much more like what Demons are suppose to be.

A Demon is about physical destruction while a Daemon is about spiritual destruction.

Yet there's a Daemon of Famine -- which destroys the body.

And one of Pestilence.

And one of death by old age.

It seems that the Daemons are more alike to the design concept of the Demon.

It seems that someone in Design could have looked at the themes for the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse and seen that those elements speak much more of Demon Fluff than Daemon Fluff.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:

Demons love to play with their toys. THey love to do terrible things to them that were never intended to be done with them. They even love completely breaking those toys down into perversions of their former selves, making new toys to play with.

Daemons want there to be no toys at all.

Hence the demons teaming up with devils and angels to keep daemons from taking their toys. ;)

Demons can't quit mortals. It's a sick, twisted love affair they have with people, and more the most part they would not want a reality bereft of mortal souls. Daemons just plain hate mortals with a suicidal passion. Demons generally want to be, and want souls to be. Daemons generally want not to be, and wish the same for souls as well.

Daemons are the ultimate destroyers of hope, and are the most hated beings in the multiverse for it. Even if one is taken by demons and devils, and broken beyond recognition, there is still some glimmer of hope, no matter how miniscule. There is at least the potential for change. That's far more than daemons offer.

+1 This was an awesome explanation for me.


Well a lot of the Daemon or Yugoloth fluff isn't open IIRC and as such Paizo is obligated to go with something different for their concept of Daemons.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse is a pretty accessible set of imagery to base the new concept of daemons on.

So while they still have the "We'll damn your soul" it's got a more classical twist on it than the 1e-2e-3e version.

Also keep in mind that at least in Greyhawk lore some of the chief Daemons like Anthraxus were closely associated with disease. Nerull was a god but also seems to have significant overlap with daemons, etc.

In effect they are forces of nature that threaten to destroy humanity and it's works.


BenS wrote:
Trelmarixian the Black wrote:

We are the antithesis of mortality. We are the virus gnawing at the heartblood of creation. We are the universe grown sick of itself - tired, old, horrified of what it has created and its own failures. It suffers, it rejects itself, and it seeks to end the pain. We are creation's suicidal urge and the death of hope.

We care nothing for faith. Your suffering is without meaning. We desire only the cold silence of the soul's obliteration.

Aaaand this is why many of us want you to write the book on daemons.

+1 on Todd "Shemeska" tewart writing the book on daemons.

And while talking about daemons, devils, and demons... since new devils and demons arise from corrupted human souls, where do new daemons come from? I get the idea they they arise from human fears and terrors, and have even less connection to humans then the demons and devils do, as well as probably a far smaller population.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:

I was thinking about starting a new Thread making an observation about Daemons but it looks like this Thread is appropriate to my post.

In the Bestiary 2 the Daemons, fluff-wise, seem much more like what Demons are suppose to be.

A Demon is about physical destruction while a Daemon is about spiritual destruction.

Yet there's a Daemon of Famine -- which destroys the body.

And one of Pestilence.

And one of death by old age.

It seems that the Daemons are more alike to the design concept of the Demon.

It seems that someone in Design could have looked at the themes for the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse and seen that those elements speak much more of Demon Fluff than Daemon Fluff.

The Daemons want to kill. Quickly. Efficiently. The suffering and pain that happens with it is of no consequence for them. Mass-scale warfare, pandemics and famine are a great way to achieve that quickly. But they're only means, and the end - consuming souls - is what counts. How said soul comes to leave the body is a secondary consideration.

If a town suffers from Black Death, a demon will revel in seeing people suffer horrible pain and agony of flesh, the devil will bargain with them to buy their souls in exchange for cure, and the daemon will stand there tapping his foot and muttering "just die already, maggots".

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Another way to look at daemons is that they personify ways that a mortal can die. Demons don't; they personify mortal sins.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:

And while talking about daemons, devils, and demons... since new devils and demons arise from corrupted human souls, where do new daemons come from? I get the idea they they arise from human fears and terrors, and have even less connection to humans then the demons and devils do, as well as probably a far smaller population.

Daemons are birthed from mortal souls as well, just like most demons and devils. Look at the "petitioner" entry in the Bestiary 2 - mortal souls that are doomed to Abaddon become the Hunted. Essentially, petitioners who are constantly on the run from the murderous natives. Those who survive long enough become daemons themselves.

So really, the daemon's desire to destroy souls is as much suicidal as it is homicidal. They really are perfect nihilists.


James Jacobs wrote:
Another way to look at daemons is that they personify ways that a mortal can die.

And now I'm imagining a Darwin Award daemon, with things like Touch of Idiocy and Confusion as spell-like abilities. Seriously, this does give daemons a great 'hook' and should make it easy to come up with new ones. Death by fire, by blades, by horde of starving rats...

Generic Villain wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:

And while talking about daemons, devils, and demons... since new devils and demons arise from corrupted human souls, where do new daemons come from? I get the idea they they arise from human fears and terrors, and have even less connection to humans then the demons and devils do, as well as probably a far smaller population.

Daemons are birthed from mortal souls as well, just like most demons and devils. Look at the "petitioner" entry in the Bestiary 2 - mortal souls that are doomed to Abaddon become the Hunted. Essentially, petitioners who are constantly on the run from the murderous natives. Those who survive long enough become daemons themselves.

So really, the daemon's desire to destroy souls is as much suicidal as it is homicidal. They really are perfect nihilists.

I still lack Bestiary 2 and as such lack that bit of information. But thanks for telling me about it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Of course the Daemon that is feared the most is the Masicodaemon or "Death by Not Chewing Your Food Enough".

Fortunately he can be repelled by chewing your food at least 32 times, but one day. He is opposed by the Heimlathon, a circle of Agathons with tiny wings and big beefy arms for giving the Heimlich manoeuvre.


You have to understand though -even if it makes no difference, nor that I care- that while ultimately we desire the death of each and every one of you, some of us make a sport of it. Some of us enjoy it. The Courts spin their own philosophies for what it is we are and what we do. But yes, some of us truly enjoy it.

Not the process itself and not your suffering, exquisite though it might be to a demon's eyes or a devil's detailed proscriptions, but the end result of it all: the subtlties of the screams and spasms as you slip down our yawning gullets, as your skulls pop like over-ripe melons between razored teeth, or the wailing in the split second before it ends with the snapping of jaws.

You have a taste you see. Imparted by the process of your end and the way that experience tempers and marinates the soul. And some of us, oh some of us are so very, very hungry.


Trelmarixian the Black wrote:
the subtlties of the screams and spasms as you slip down our yawning gullets

Hey, jello fiend. Yeah you. Famine boy. You totally stole that bit from my lines in Classic Treasures Revisited. Archdaemon or not, admit it you cheapskate. Don't make me come down there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Archfiend fiiiight!


James Jacobs wrote:
Another way to look at daemons is that they personify ways that a mortal can die. Demons don't; they personify mortal sins.

I like that idea! It really differentiates Daemons from Demons and Devils.

My only question: why would Daemons want to destroy all life? If they eat souls, they then would starve without any prey.

Daemons would be selfish and predatory but not stupid. What would motivate them eliminating their food source?

Thanks.


Generic Villain wrote:
Archfiend fiiiight!

Who says I'm an archfiend? A "fiend of unknown type" is as good as you'll get from anywhere. Let's just say that I'm not normal, and I do things that don't conform to what I or many beings as you understand it should be able to do, and we leave it at that. Besides, if I discussed by history and indeed my nature, well, that would be telling.

Contributor

unnambed wrote:


My only question: why would Daemons want to destroy all life? If they eat souls, they then would starve without any prey.

Daemons would be selfish and predatory but not stupid. What would motivate them eliminating their food source?

Thanks.

Very, very good question. :)

But dangit, you guys start an interesting topic and I feel compelled to chatter. But no more, it's dinnertime now. *vanishes in a cloud of roiling shadows*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
unnambed wrote:


My only question: why would Daemons want to destroy all life? If they eat souls, they then would starve without any prey.

Daemons would be selfish and predatory but not stupid. What would motivate them eliminating their food source?

Thanks.

Souls aren't a daemon's food source. Souls are something daemons hoard, experiment on, and occasionally destroy. It's a form of currency for them.

That said, daemons are bent on bringing about the appocalypse. Thus why they're most powerful leaders are called the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. They want to kill every last thing that can be killed, reducing the entire universe to a silent, still oblivion, at which point they too will all vanish.

Daemons are Freud's Thanatos (death) urge personified on a cosmic scale.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

At a guess, because Daemons hate everything enough to want to see it destroyed. The thing they hate most of all is themselves. After they've done away with all life everywhere, they'll turn on each other. Leaving the universe to spin, and turn endlessly. Like a carousel without any riders.

Daemons are oblivion incarnate, they eat your soul and leave nothing behind. They are the locust horde of the multiverse. Endlessly consuming. They are the philosophical equivalent of a black hole. They draw in all light, and life and then collapse into themselves.

To them an empty multiverse is the greatest dream of all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Daemons, being outsiders, don't need to eat to survive. Once they accomplish their end game and eat the final mortal soul, they go on to do whatever comes next. They won't starve, though.


This thread is so awesome.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ironicdisaster wrote:
This thread is so awesome.

Yep. It's a classic Planescape thread: it's about the finer points of philosophical differences in the area of mass genocide.


Gorbacz wrote:
Ironicdisaster wrote:
This thread is so awesome.
Yep. It's a classic Planescape thread: it's about the finer points of philosophical differences in the area of mass genocide.

Yup... it works out a lot better than arguing over how the goodie goodie two shoe angels/archons/agathons are going to help the mortals this time -- of course without just doing it for them, because apparently you must still suffer even if you are working for team good.

makes you wonder if the meaning of mortal existences in these games really is to suffer.

Contributor

Yes, but when the good suffer, they get people patting them on the back and praising them for their suffering (*cough* Job *cough*) and later making it up to them in the form of reparations in this world, fabulous prizes in the afterlife, or both.

When the wicked suffer, everyone says they deserve it.

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