Book of the Damn-ol'-dands / What is stoppin' em?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Demodands are built-up as one of the most powerful and evil outsider races in the game, and they have the stats to show it. The lowest CR demodand is the tarry, who is said to be merely a foot soldier by demodand standards but weighs in at CR 13. Since armies of demodands are heavily implied to be a thing... what is stopping them from conquering the material plane? Especially if one factors in the Thanatotic Titans.

Just to clarify, I would like people to brainstorm creative world-building reasons that demodands aren't able to wreck everything.

Sovereign Court

This is my major beef I have with D&D/PF. The scaling level system has no bounds and doesn't make sense for world building. That's the cool thing about 5E right now they are finally addressing this issue. Sorry to drop in like this and not help out it's a big issue for me that I don't have a good answer for.


Well, to actually be useful...

I imagine its b/c of all the demon lords. When you have a really nasty enemy in your own plane of existence, it probably doesn't leave a lot of resources for other ones (outside of randomly causing trouble). I imagine a full scale invasion of the material plane would see them destroyed by good outsiders, heroes on the material plane, and the Demons attacking them when the moment was ripe.

Sovereign Court

What's stopping any of the other high-CR outsiders from wreaking havoc on the material planes? With the kind of DCs that major devils and demons can force on Will saves, they should be able to subvert armies and governments.

Not to invalidate your question; merely to broaden it. Why aren't the material planes overrun by outsiders, who are on average more powerful than material beings?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

My answer: the Material Plane is not an ideal place to conquer. Unless exiled, most enemies you kill that invade the Material Plane are going to return to their home plane. There are few real rewards to controlling the plane.

Demodands, in particular, have strong motivations to act in a way to inconvenience/cripple deities, as well. In short, you are too small for them to care.

Liberty's Edge

I'd say it's likely the gods and celestials...and the fact that they can't enter the prime material at will...unless that's changed, they have to be summoned.

Scarab Sages

If a significant portion of the Abyss were to every unite under a single banner nothing could stand against it. All other planes would be quickly overrun and destroyed.

Fortunately, the vast majority of the Abyss's might is spent fighting itself, with a near infinite number of demon lords all vying among themselves for power. The other planes only catch the occasional piece of stray chaff from the top few planes of the Abyss.

You could have an army of millions of Demodands razing entire planes and mortals, or even most gods, would never hear of it occurring 500 layers down.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Depending on the way your cosmology is set up, who is to say the demodands (or demons, or devils, or whatever) HAVEN'T conquered the Material Plane...or at least some material plane(s) somewhere? I don't recall off the top of my head all the differences between Pathfinder and 3.5 cosmology, but IIRC there are still multiple material planes. Maybe even an infinite number of them.

If there are an infinite number, perhaps it simply isn't feasible to conquer every single one. Or, alternatively, perhaps it's just a matter of time before any specific reality is attacked, but eons might pass before that time comes. To slightly mangle a famous quote by John Maynard Keynes, "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all doomed."

Sovereign Court

Maybe a significant portion of the Abyss is made up of prime material planes that kinda sunk to the bottom of the cosmos, after getting conquered? Cheerful thought.


Remember that whatever your cosmology it only exists because there is some sort of balance, however improbable. Upsetting that balance is bad for lots of planes, the prime included.


In the case of the Demodands, I like to think it's their innate divine spark that keeps them or their creators from overtly overrunning the material...yet. So, they spend their time foiling divine plots and kicking in the wheels and bumpers of all that they love to hate about divinity and foolish mortal/immortal servants there-of (even though they are bound by their broken creators with a similar ironic chain that drives them on to further insanity, despair and rage...all the good chunks of the abyss). They are a great little pack of legitimate evil anarchists. I'm sure all/most deities hate to see demodands running about mocking the very fundamental nature of the divine as well. Even the thanatotic titans have to look askance at each other over the obvious mistake that the demodands are, and the constant reminder that they aren't true deities at all.

All that being said...I'm sure the demodands would LOVE to conquer the material plane. They just need all the gods to be taken out back and puppy-coffined first. And the best way to do that is by corrupting mortals and the various servants of all the deities :-)


Frankly, there are a number of perspectives that explain the continued existence of various Prime Material Planes, some of which have already been mentioned above:

  • An infinite number of PMPs, per the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics

  • The preoccupation with the consolidation of power on the Lower Planes, a likely impossibility that preserves innumerable Prime Material Planes from being overrun

  • The gods and celestial beings serving as a counterbalance to any large scale attempt at invasion—their ability to coordinate and strike with precision keeping the opposition in check (even as two or three Roman legions could decisively defeat and shatter armies many times their size)

  • A benevolent, omniponent Artificer (which someone of religious persuasion would call God) whose infinite power disallows any significant over-spill

  • Perhaps (especially lower-level) creatures of this sort wink out of existence regularly as a consequence of exposure to their own plane; in contrast, there may be lawfully-aligned planes on which uncountable beings have solidified into stasis as a result of being a bit too good a personification of their realm

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

These guys show up, because everyone is supposed to stay on his home plane. Invasion is bad for property values. There's a LAW against that.

:P


Johnny come latelies, the lot of them: Angels, archons, celestials, daemons, demodands, demons, etc. Even the so-called gods are mere babes. The qlippoth have some history, but even they're younger than the Great Old Ones.

A full scale invasion of the Prime Material would result in a response from the Outer Gods, one (or more) of the Great Old Ones, or even Azathoth (to the woe of that portion of the multiverse). Let sleeping Old Ones lie, right? Better for the outer-planars to subvert mortals through less drastic methods: brainwashing (excuse me, "teaching"), influence peddling, promises to "right the world" or "rewards in the afterlife," etc. Takes longer and lets their rivals dip into the same pot, but they also don't risk losing the whole shebang if they piss off the Great Old Ones by being too overt.


in the case of the demodands, my guess is that simply speaking They are not as abundant as the Qlippoth or Demons, and whose to say they are all united? My guess is that the different Thanatotic (sp?) Titans are not a unified front, but rather they at the very least don't get along well with another.

Also, The demodands enslave demons...a good chunk of their armies are going to be lower CR demons. Demodands probably only serve as slave drivers, captains, and elite guards within such armies.

As for the other outsiders, mutually assured destruction. A full out invasion of the material plane (or at least anything of larger scale than a world or solar system) would bring down the wrath of all the good outsiders, inevitables, and probably devils (who have a long game that probably favors "hands off" treatment of the material plane). Native outsiders like Oni or Rakshashas probably also would resist since they have a good thing going. And while you are busy on the material plane, some upstart or rival just might choose to move in on your territory, at least in the case of demons and daemons.

And as mentioned just above...The material itself isn't all puppies and lollipops. The Great Old Ones are just as powerful (in some cases maybe more so) than any evil outsider race, and it's their home turf.


They tried once but PunPun and the league of min-maxed optimizers stopped them so dead in their tracks that all outsiders promised to never again threaten the material.

Or yeah, Yog-Sothoth, the Gate and the Key, won't let them move that much.

Or they don't want Azothoth's notice, or they don't want Hastur to infect their homes with his entropy and madness, Hell would be especially bummed about heat death.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
in the case of the demodands, my guess is that simply speaking They are not as abundant as the Qlippoth or Demons,

IIRC, Planescape had multiverse-wide demodand populations capped at 3,333 for each of the three types, which was their biggest disadvantage in conflicts with their neighbors.


Perhaps theirr exists a long forgotten artifact that helps to lock down the prime from such invasion.

Or a secret society of min maxed immortal PC's who hope and pray that they try it again as they're really bored and otherwise unchallenged.


Paging Shemeshka...

Dark Archive

Eh, many of the Outsiders have their own *infinite* planes to deal with.

There is literally no 'lebensraum' or 'breathing room' or 'resource shortage' motivation to conquer (or even notice!), the material plane (or any other) since it will, by definition, take them *forever* to expand to fill and conquer *their own planes.*

If humans didn't keep summoning them, it's conceivable that entire outsider races wouldn't even know that the material plane existed (and, for outsiders not on any summon list, the existence of the material plane might be less relevant to their existence than the existence of Titan, and the possibility that something might live there, is to mine)...

Asmodeus, for example, has nine different *infinities* to manage. One absolutely dinky little planet, in one solar system, of one galaxy, of one cluster, of this particular dimension is so insignificant as to be impossible to even describe in metaphor.

Even if his nine Hell planes aren't actually infinite, each one of them quite likely has hundreds of trillions of worlds, with billions of them every bit as interesting as Golarion (and millions of them even more so!).


There are a multitude of reasons why no single planar faction rules supreme and the most powerful ones are all tied to the material plane in some way, my guess is that most worlds just exist in a precarious balance of sorts with no single entity ruling supreme.
The gods that have an interest in these worlds serve as protectors with their own interests in that world, might not be a match against the collective armies of the hells or any other faction but no single faction can simply spare the resources to overwhelm most planes.
That said many worlds have been absorbed into the abyss, the nine hells and possibly other worlds becoming a small piece of the (near) infinite outer planar cosmology. (3.x lore did state on several occasions that demon lords have drawn entire worlds into the abyss, some 3rd party sources did state the same for the nine hells, I think JJ has worked on at least one of them)


Pig #1 wrote:
Since armies of demodands are heavily implied to be a thing... what is stopping them from conquering the material plane?

China has an enormous army compared to Paraguay. So what is stopping China from taking over Paraguay?


Mikaze wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
in the case of the demodands, my guess is that simply speaking They are not as abundant as the Qlippoth or Demons,
IIRC, Planescape had multiverse-wide demodand populations capped at 3,333 for each of the three types, which was their biggest disadvantage in conflicts with their neighbors.

And yet somehow they managed to tear down the Tower of Incarnate pain how many times? Right before we managed to finish it? Three-Aspected sons of...

*many random patrons of the Fortune's Wheel were hurt in the subsequent public temper tantrum*

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

One of the persons above had a good point.

There more then likely are worlds on the prime plane that have fallen to outsider forces. Indeed, it's a theme that has recurred from everything from the Demonweb Pits (where you got to traipse over worlds being/that had been conquered by Lolth's armies) to Spelljammer (where the Arcane sold a whole solar system that didn't belong to them to Demons, and where millions of devils are bound in asteroids by the major magocracy there just waiting to spill out in The Astromundi Cluster) to the Worldwound and its implications in Golarion.

You just don't hear about the ones that have fallen to Heaven. Heh!

In Planescape, the Hardheads (forget faction proper name) are a LN/G group that are based off a group of adventurers that conquered their entire world and killed off any chaotic resistance, and are exporting their brand of living to the planes.

The formians are relentless, insectile conquerors of Nirvana, and in wildspace they and the thri-kreen are portrayed as relentless grabbers of territory among the asteroid belts.

The illithids at one time had an empire that spanned both crystal spheres and entire planes.

I don't remember any CN conquests by the forces Outside, although I'm sure some of the Great Old Ones have succeeded at their tasks. Indeed, there's a game where Earth has finally fallen to them and your job is to survive.

----------------
I have an Epic-level 'overarch' in my game and story world, where the highest level adventurers go when they 'retire'. They've had enough of ruling and mortal politics, and they want to go out and fight against a worthy cause. Where do you go and what do you fight?

I call them the Cancers on Creation. They entail all the forces that are attempting to invade or take over the Prime Material Plane.

1) The Dead Crusade: This is your classic necromancer army that invades worlds with undead, kills every single living thing on the world, turns them all into undead, transforms it into a graveyard monument to the gods and powers of death, then takes most of the dead and invades the next world. Come on, fight ALL the heroes and millions, billions of undead from the world that fell before yours!

2) The Hell Crusade: Yep, Hell wants your world, and is making a major play.

3) The Pits Crusade: Demons spilling out onto the Prime everywhere. Have fun!

4) The Eternal Crusade: Demons meet Devils and possibly Angels. WOrlds die as fallout.

5) The Axiomatic Crusade: The forces of Law are out to remake the Prime in their image.

6) The Limbo Crusade: The forces of Chaos are out to return the Prime to primal chaos.

7) The Elemental CRusade: Primal Entities of elemental power are making/unmaking/ruling swathes of the Prime Material. Go kill some Titans!

9) The Cancer on Creation Crusade: Aberrants from outside Creation are infecting and feasting on the Prime.

10) The Old Crusade: Go where the Great Old Ones have gone before you...

11) The Clockwork Crusade: A force of intelligent constructs is out to extinguish all natural life, war machines designed by a now-extinct civilization. There's at least three versions of this which can be used - clockworks, spiders, and a variant of axiomatics.

12) The Hiveminds Crusades: The various intelligent insect races of the universe rise up and are subsuming world after world.

13) The Biowarp Crusade: Leftover biotechnic weapons are rampaging across worlds, programmed only to eat and kill. The orcs had these in Spelljammer. If you know Warhammer 40k, this is the Tyrannids.

14) The One Crusade: A single Deity is spreading his faith across worlds, crushing all other forms of worship and all other pantheons his faithful come across.

15) The Dragon Crusade: Draconic Empire sending its young across the worlds and stars to conquer them, instead of fighting with their elders for lands at home. Where they rule, the gods of other sentient races are Interdicted, and Dragons rule supreme.

16) The Scaled Crusade: The scalefolk have used their prodigous reproductive capacity to form empires and go to war for territory against other worlds, especially those with mammals on top.

17) The Green Crusade: Intelligent plant life is waging war against non-plant intelligent life, returning world after world to the Green.

18) The Grey Crusade: As the Green, but using fungi.

19) The Ancient Crusade: Elder races of the universe extending out their tendrils. Aboleths, illithids and the like fall here.

20) The Wild Crusade: They Fey have come and rule supreme in their fickle ways over world after world, with the whimsy that only those who cannot truly die have.

A Crusade is a force of high level souls from many, many worlds, gathered together to fight these massive incursions onto the Prime.

Getting power and the loot of entire worlds is a plus, too.

------------
So you see, Demodands are just minor, minor players in all the things that can just go massively, terribly wrong with the multiverse. Come and join the Crusades today, and find out just how bad it can really get!

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

Well, as paragon of the old and forgotten...

I'm fairly certain in 2e Planescape, the Demodands were sort of a half-assed copy of the Yugoloth/Daemons, made by some outcast. Said outcast actually projected portions of himself into the three tiers of demodands, this meant they were individually more powerful, but the power was limited. So..

Bobby Faratsu is nasty, but if he dies, that power goes somewhere where the originator has to recover it, in the meantime the set number of demodands is diminished by 1 faratsu who needs to work his way back up from the lower tiers again.

Also, strictly speaking, the primary target of the demodands isn't the prime material. Its a place that yeah is fun to wreck and causes trouble, but by doing so they mess with people who well, are already messing with them.

I conquer golarian, oh look Amodeus is cheesed, and those angels, and the quillopth (who are here because the devils are), and those inevitables are cheesed too, and the proteans decided it was a kegger and brought in the miasmas of limbo.

All for some finite, spit of rock floating somewhere smaller then my original stomping grounds.

Outsiders conquer planets when doing so can accomplish their actual goals (souls for the forges, order, fun, blue, orange, etc). Getting territory, spits of rock, or the similar isn't appealing to them when they could be doing 'bigger things.'

They're the physical personification of ideals. Not giant orcs.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Spook205 wrote:

Well, as paragon of the old and forgotten...

I'm fairly certain in 2e Planescape, the Demodands were sort of a half-assed copy of the Yugoloth/Daemons, made by some outcast. Said outcast actually projected portions of himself into the three tiers of demodands, this meant they were individually more powerful, but the power was limited. So..

Bobby Faratsu is nasty, but if he dies, that power goes somewhere where the originator has to recover it, in the meantime the set number of demodands is diminished by 1 faratsu who needs to work his way back up from the lower tiers again.

Pretty much. They were created by the exiled baernaloth Apomps, who made them in flawed imitation of the yugoloths (according to the 'loths) or as his own creations before his kindred created their own children the 'loths (according to the demodands).

I always loved that the demodands had a connection to Apomps, and in a way they acted like his hands, eyes, and ears on the planes. At any moment the farastu/shator/kelubar demodand staring at you might have an utterly ancient, primordial evil staring through its eyes.

Also their connection to their maker was mediated through a black triangle they each wore. Deprived of that token I treated them like terrified, lost, desperate drug-addicts willing to do literally anything to regain the voice of their creator in their heads.

At one point I had the PCs in a campaign of mine encounter an avatar of Apomps. It manifested as a trio of demodands, one of each subtype. They spoke with the same voice, one would stop and another would continue without a break, or they'd speak at once simultaneously, with eyes like black, bottomless voids. I had a lot of fun with them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pig #1 wrote:

Demodands are built-up as one of the most powerful and evil outsider races in the game, and they have the stats to show it. The lowest CR demodand is the tarry, who is said to be merely a foot soldier by demodand standards but weighs in at CR 13. Since armies of demodands are heavily implied to be a thing... what is stopping them from conquering the material plane? Especially if one factors in the Thanatotic Titans.

Just to clarify, I would like people to brainstorm creative world-building reasons that demodands aren't able to wreck everything.

Demodands are:

1) Not overwhelmingly huge in number, and

2) Kept pretty busy as is with their current tasks.

That all said, there's countless worlds on the material plane. I suspect some of those worlds HAVE been conquered by the demodands. That certainly sounds like a cool theme for one of the universes's planets or solar systems.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Pig #1 wrote:

Demodands are built-up as one of the most powerful and evil outsider races in the game, and they have the stats to show it. The lowest CR demodand is the tarry, who is said to be merely a foot soldier by demodand standards but weighs in at CR 13. Since armies of demodands are heavily implied to be a thing... what is stopping them from conquering the material plane? Especially if one factors in the Thanatotic Titans.

Just to clarify, I would like people to brainstorm creative world-building reasons that demodands aren't able to wreck everything.

Demodands are:

1) Not overwhelmingly huge in number, and

2) Kept pretty busy as is with their current tasks.

That all said, there's countless worlds on the material plane. I suspect some of those worlds HAVE been conquered by the demodands. That certainly sounds like a cool theme for one of the universes's planets or solar systems.

Leave it up to James Jacobs to take a perfectly orderly and civil discussion on the finer points of inter-planer politics and turn it into a massive nergasm super fawesome campaign ideas. I CAN HAZ NOW!!

sarcasm

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Actually, the demodands weren't neccessarily low in number. Only a set number were active at one time....unless their home plane was invaded. Basically they existed as 'egg sludges', and every time a demodand died, another one rose from the muck of Tartarus to take its place.

When invading forces came onto their homeworld, the sludges all rose into their forms en masse and came raging out of the mists and muck to engage the enemy until they were gone. From that standpoint, they were endless...nobody tried to conquer Tartarus.

==Aelryinth


With all of this talking about the many different realities that conquer the material plane easily. The pathfinder universe starts to look like war-hammer 40K.


The sheer amount of infinite planes, infinite universes, infinite alternate universes, infinite time lines, etc., combined with the titanic array of monsters that we find in Bestiaries 1-3, means that the entire universe is one big mess.

If I were to be playing a game for fun with my friends, I'd just use Golarion and ignore the potential for such lunacy. If I were to be making a super detailed, lovingly designed world, I would solve these problems by creating a smaller, more sensical multiverse, with less types of monsters.

The Bestiaries give us tools, whether or not we declare that all the tools exist is up to us as Gamemasters.

Sovereign Court

I like a lot of the evil outsider races, but as a GM, I'm trying to keep the story a bit coherent so I can't just use all of them at the same time. The Rakshasa would get snowed under by the Asuras, Demodands, Kytons, Divs, Demons, Daemons, Devils, Oni, Qlippoths and any others that I've forgotten about. Sometimes less is more.


Ascalaphus wrote:
I like a lot of the evil outsider races, but as a GM, I'm trying to keep the story a bit coherent so I can't just use all of them at the same time. The Rakshasa would get snowed under by the Asuras, Demodands, Kytons, Divs, Demons, Daemons, Devils, Oni, Qlippoths and any others that I've forgotten about. Sometimes less is more.

I kinda default to calling them all 'demon' of some kind (chaos demon, water demon, horned demon etc.), even many non-evil ones, or 'celestial', in the case of good outsiders, or give them different names entirely in my campaigns to make outsiders appear more mysterious and obscure, it tends to catch players off balance even with a good knowledge check they do not get the exact name right out off the bestiary making it harder to metagame (intentional or not).

I also change the abilities a bit so they actually have to rely on proper knowledge checks or experience dealing with said outsiders.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Book of the Damn-ol'-dands / What is stoppin' em? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.