Do Demons Fear?

So here's a question:

There are Infernal-alligned incantations which can force a demon to do one's bidding, and there are spells which harm demons in order to whip them into compliane (presumably out of fear of further destruction.)

So if that's the case, then Demon's, though incapable of, say, love or courage or piety, seem to be capable of fear.

If that's so, is it reasonable to assume that Demons (at least ones with Intellegence scores) can be effected by spells which cause fear in their victims, such as Panic of the Trembling Heart? Would such a spell need to be specially modified to effect demons, (a version of Coerce the Spirit of the Night, perhaps)?

Basically, I want to design a spell that makes demons crap their pants and run away.

I know its possible for faeries (who all feel emotions) and many creatures of the magic realm. I don't see why the infernal should be different.

I agree. Demons are without Virtue. Cowardice is not a Virtue.

Of course, you will need to penetrate to affect demons with fear causing effects. And depending on its particular nature a demon might not fear quite the same things as a mortal.

That would be Demon's Eternal Oblivion...

IMS right now I'm a Bjornaer with Sensory Magic. Sensory DEO has been house-banned as being too-F-ing superpowered. (Clan Wiliks with Quality Fatigue upgrades: + 7 fatigue levels, life boost and all who hear a "howl" (1 sq mile range) loose 4x multicast 10 might with penetration up to +60. Without a focus.)

BUT a spell to make them temporarily flee is not overpowered, as they can return to plot revenge, use proxies, attack indirectly or otherwise ambush or bother the characters later.

I'm not so sure they can experience fear.

Sure, most demons are cowards in nature, but is this because they fear, or because they lack virtue of bravery? I think it's the latter.

In a way, the only thing they seem to obey, is more powerful demons - and only the threat of violence. A sorcerer has to rely on powers which compel them to act (either apotropaic guideline, miraculous effect guideline or even commanding), I see none example of a leadership (intimidation) way to force a demon to act.

What would demon fear anyway?
Rereading ROPI p45, without faith, it seem the only thing demon fears is violence from a more powerful demon. Not violence by itself - since demons can fight against anyone they believe inferiors to them, even if they have their ass kicked (without hope, same page).

Why would they fear only violence from powerful demons... because of control. Well I'm undecided about it, finally :smiley:

The real question is whether they have the capacity for fear, rather than what they fear.

I was thinking about ReMe or CrMe effects to stimulate artifical fear in Demons. That can be by mimicing the effect that a more powerful demon or supernatural being has upon them, certainly.

Certainly, I belive they fear violence. I believe that Hermetic Magic can manipulate this by forcing a demon to fear violence that is not forthcoming.

At least, demons with intellegence scores. Demon's with Cunning would be another story (possibly using Animal or the form to which their might corresponds.)

What do other people think of this?



A magus with multi-cast mastered Demon's Eternal Oblivion and a book of True Names.

Demons sure do fear, if you're going from a purely theological standpoint.

Where it gets weird is that demons also lack a bunch of (i.e. all) other critical virtues that make them behave in ways we'd consider sensible. So a demon is busy being fearful, but its also busy being impatient and intemperate and various other things too. So while we have the capacity to be reasonable and say 'eep, thing I fear. Prudence says I'll keep my distance.' - a demon doesn't have the capacity to do that.

The best way I've found to RP demons is to play whichever lack-of-virtue has bubbled to the top at any given moment. Impatience sometimes trumps fear, but as soon as the situation is one in which scary-to-demon features highly its fear should come to the front. Demons are like malicious 3-year-olds. The super-intelligent ones are like super-intelligent malicious 3-year-olds. As soon as their convoluted plans start to unravel you can expect the temper-tantrums to start.

Why would they fear God if they think he is an usurper?

Because he can kick their collective ass.


But then, why did they rebel to begin?

Ask a theologian.

Or ask a demon.

Or an angel.

or have a live show with a demon and an angel debating it out. You can actually achieve this with 2 circle wards one in front of the other. I can see a tytalus trying it, inviting a few friends to watch the show, and the house gets purged. :mrgreen:


Well, most demons can be affected by Mentem (RoP:I p.33), and the ones that cannot are the one that are not intelligent so their mind presumably come under Animal. The rules also state "All demons are completely immune to magic that would cause them to act in a contrary way to their Personality Traits", but apart from the rare demon with a Brave personality trait (if that is even possible) I see no reason why they would not be affected by a spell causing fear.