Demons in the 5th edition ?


from what I have read Demons still can not be detected by Intellego-spells.

In spiritual form they can not be sensed by normal means, but since they are displaced by objects/persons walking "thru" them, the spiritual matter they are composed of seems not to make them incorporeal.

Due to this it should still be possible to indirectly detect a demon by magic (e.g. MuAu, Req: Ig - produce a glow wherever boundaries between air and lack of air (due to objects/persons/demons) occur. If any invisible creature is revealed this way it might be a demon.

Or is there any kind of "infernal aura" around demons to prevent even this indirect method of detection by magic ?

Some more questions related to this one:

Is it possible to cast PeVi (destroy demon) at a room and still affect a demon even if it was not possible to detect the presence of a demon beforehand ?

And related to the last one, would a PeVi spell affect a demon possessing a person even if it is not really known if this person is actually possessed ?

Basically can you cast PeVi spells top destroy demons even if you just suspect their presence, but are not certain about their location or if they actually are there ?


The basic answer to this one I would say is that Demons must be percieved to be targeted just like anyhting else. You cannot throw PeCo spells into a room and hope that the knave is in there, even if he is you need to 'ground' the spell through him by some means of perception. I would include all five senses here.

We have talked about filling a room with a whirl of flour and targetting the whole where it is. I personally think that as long as some form of perception can be attained the spell can be targetted. Even if this is just footprints in the snow.

I thunk that you can use target room and target structure spells to target everything within a space and by virtue of being able to percieve the space you don't need to percieve the knaves that are within it.

Thus a version of demons eternal oblivion with a target of structure is a way ,to attack demons that you can't percieve (at least until they step outside).

In one of our games we talked about having a device that activated every round that cast Demons Eternal Oblivion-1 at high penetration on the whole covenant structure. So a demon in the building would be quickly whittled down to size...

You're not the only ones who engauge in such thoughts.

I'd love to see the warping caused by that carped-bombing device in a few seasons time.... maybe the siute develops a divine aura or so for being a totally hell-free area? Everybody starting to behave critianly (very bad for most down to earth businesses)? :laughing:



From what I've read of RoP:I, demons cannot be detected by Intellego if they don't want to be. But that's not to say that demons are always trying to be invisible to all magic.

Many lesser demons are, by their nature, invisible to mundane eyes, but are not necessarily hiding their presence (and, in fact, are likely too dumb to do so unless it's obvious someone's looking for them). So Second Sight and InVi will detect them and allow targeting.

It's the higher-order demons that are the problem; without Sense Holiness and Unholiness keyed to the Divine Realm (not something most magi possess), when they want to be invisible or appear completely human, there is no Hermetic way of finding them. In fact, I would say that outside of the Covenant that is constantly sending demons to their Eternal Oblivion, a room or structure-targeted PeVi spell would not "reveal" a demon who only lost a small percentage of Might and is stubborn or cunning enough not to make any detectable action at the spell.

As for warping caused by constant PeVi, I'd say that the structures start to either develop magic resistance, or start acting like Wind of Mundane Silence on the rooms therein.

I tend to agree here. It's not the covenant members who are the target of the spell, unless they happen to be demons. Casting a spell in the area of someone that doesn't target that person shouldn't cause any warping to him or her.

That's pretty much the canon answer. A demon who takes the form of a black cat is pretending to be a black cat, and is indistinguishable from a black cat. A demon that stands in front of you in all it's cloven-footed, red-skinned glory will detect as having an Infernal Might, if you need to check :slight_smile:

Pretty much anything a demon says to you is going to be a lie, and cannot be distinguished from truth with magic.


I agree on that, but for me the question remains if a demon (in spirit form) can be detected by indirect means - e.g. making the air glow around any object/person in voice range via MuAu Req: Ig by causing a glow on any boundary between an object/person (no air there) and air.

The only way a demon (or any other object/person that actually occupies space - and RoP: TI implies that demons in spiritual form do occupy space) could evade detection in such a way is if he is either able to alter the magic of the MuAu spell or fool the senses of any watchers by making the spell appear to cause no glow around the demon despite it actually being there.


CAREFUL HERE!!!!! Our beta SG had quite some fun with us taking advantage of just that assumption. He had a demon show up demonstrate that he was a demon and tell us quite a few things. We assumed most of them to be lies or corruptions of the truth. They were not: they were the plain truth in broad daylight. Our assumption that she (suskaria or something like that was her name.... was in the core book) was lying send us on extremely dangerous (and harmful for innocents) errands. Loads of fun and a really cool story was shaped as a consequence, but we still insult him from time to time for that devilish plot of his.

Careful about that assumption. Now we always thread extra carefully when a demon says ANYTHING. 8) :laughing:



Not necessarily. The demon might tell you the truth if it thinks that might be a better way to deceive you. Or tell a partial truth, leaving out just enough details that you jump to conclusions...

Yep, the last time I did a story with a demon, the demon told 95% truth. It was the subtle lies hidden in truth for that 5% that did all the harm. It was masquerading as a faerie though at the time.

According to RoP:tI, this is not quite true:

If a demon tells the truth, it doesn't necessarily know that it is doing so. Everything appears to be truthful to it, even sequential contradictory sentences. Of course, the bigger and badder the demon, the more it is able to fake a sense of justice and knowingly tell the truth.

EDIT: Oh, and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the stories that you and others have proposed regarding demons telling the truth when it suits them. However, the suave trickster demon who does this is not a feature of medieval stories about demons, and I don't use them very much. Most period demons are slower witted and more obvious in their ploys to tempt mortals. Maybe I just prefer saving the true evil for humans...


I wouldn't automatically give demons immunity to these clever tricks. However, I wouldn't say that a demon actually occupies space when in spiritual form. It is pushed aside by other objects, but it is unhindered by physical barriers, and can move through them. They would be similarly transparant to fire or air, which are after all composed of atoms just like stone.


[quote="Mark ShirleyI wouldn't automatically give demons immunity to these clever tricks. However, I wouldn't say that a demon actually occupies space when in spiritual form. It is pushed aside by other objects, but it is unhindered by physical barriers, and can move through them. They would be similarly transparant to fire or air, which are after all composed of atoms just like stone.


Hi Mark,

yes, the wording in RoP: TI does give me some problems, a creature that is on the one hand pushed aside by objects (occupies space), but on the other hand is unhindered by physical barriers (is incorporeal).

"Ruling" that demons in spiritual form do usually occupy space, but are able to move through physical objects when they are concentrating on it might solve the apparent problem/confusion.

For my demon finder spell this would basically mean if the demon is caught unaware or doesnt care about the detection it will be "seen", but once it learns that it can be "seen" due to the spell it has to option to become incorporeal and thus avoid further detection.

Does anybody see any problems with this approach ?


I think that approach makes a lot of sense and, in some ways, explains how mundanes might think that doing things like tossing salt over their shoulder would actually detect/repel/otherwise affect demons.

Yes, this is the way demons move about in my campaign. They're like an invisible cloud.. silent, but deadly. :stuck_out_tongue: If they want to, they can move through physical objects, but they would have to decide to do it.


I think people postulating or asking whether demons can be detected are missing slightly the actual "special feature" of demons:

they are the masters of deception, and their deceptions cannot be uncovered by Hermetic Magic.

You can detect a demon (as a body, spirit, magic etc), and for any demon which chooses not to (or cannot) deceive the caster, you know the truth. (Lesser demons often have limited powers of deceit, and serve more to tempt, or just to be tortured)

If however a demon with the right power exerts itself, then:

  • you "detect" a "demon", but it is an impenetrable illusion blaming an innocent
  • you ought to detect the demon but are deceived to believe "no demon"
  • you blast a being with PeVi Destroy Infernal Might, and it writhes in agony because
    a) it is a demon in agony
    or b) a non-demon wrapped in an illusion
  • you blast a being with PeVi Destroy Infernal Might, and it ignores you because
    a) it is not a demon
    or b) it wraps itself in an impenetrable illusion of a smiling happy being (while being tormented internally)


(I will admit that being torn asunder when reduced to 0 Might is a bit of a giveaway, but any sensible demon given the choice will depart before that stage)

Find a Divine-powered friend, with an Ability such as Sense Holiness And Unholiness, or get a Relic (demons cringe in its presence)