physical characteristics of demons

Hi sodales,

I was reading RoP:tI and creating Astaroth when I noticed this:

"Demons have a number of Characteristic points with which to buy physical Characteristics equal to their Infernal Might. Negative points may also be taken to gain an equal number of positive points, but the minimum value for any physical Characteristic is equal to the demon’s (Infernal Might / 5) – 10."

Okay.

With a might of 80 (which is fair for one of the 9 electors of Hell), it means the min characteristics is +6. That costs 21 points in the "triangular number" scale cost Ars Magica uses for characteristics. There are 4 characteristics, so it means 84 points at least to buy but demons have a number of points equal to"infernal might points" to spend on those; in this case 80... How are those rules compatible for "powerful demons"? I guess it was not spotted at the time RoPtI was printed.

Since RAW is not useable, should I just consider this rule to be only valid for demons with less than 50 of might (and design the demon like I want) or rather should I consider that this minimum gives extra points required (in my case, 4) and give him +6 in each ? I'm not asking a "what is best for the story" answer, because that I know by myself but rather an answer to "what do you think the rules intended to do with this kind of demons?". Indeed, I'm not sure which rule should be on the gameplay side of the book considered more important: min characteristics, or number of points to spend on physical characts?

Which way would you go?

Have a good day

Hi,

When in doubt, give the demon more points. :slight_smile:/2

I suspect that RAI assumed there would be sufficient points, with some left over for customization.

That said, angels and demons do have some boring stats, RAW and RAI. But that's a different matter.

Anyway,

Ken

The rules also look like they were written to work for a maximum Might of 50, based on the table on page 30 of RoP:I.

Considering that the most powerfull demon on the directory of demons is might:50, and is listed as a prince and False God, which also maximizes the demonic might table (base 30 is max for false Gods and +20 for being a prince) would suggest that demons of greater than 50 might are rare to the point of being unheard of. Any such demon is already outside of the normal rules for demonic creation (for example, I would presume Lucifer has an infernal might above 50) so why worry about how the rules apply in those cases? Simply fudge the rules for stats the same way you fudged the rules to have a might over 50....

80 is higher than the highest score envisioned by the rules, IMO. I think the most powerful fae is either 70 or 75, in theory, although in practice we have never statted out something with those sorts of scores.

I know that RoP:D has scores higher than this (Michael is 100, and the Archangel of Death is a 90), but I don't think demons have paralell scores to these. Basically, the ladder doesn't have that many rungs in it.

I'd argue that the Electors of Hell are Princes of Hell, so their Might can't be greater than 20+ (Highest Might of their Order, which is basically 30), so their Might is 50 or less.

In saying this I know that there are a handful of dragons up in that range, and that there are certainly some fae gods up in that range, but they don't have the "you killed me? So, really you just killed my body. I'm actually in Hell making a new body." power that demons get as a costless freebie.

Using the formulas given for lesser demons, this would yield minimum physical characteristic scores of +5. Then again, assigning physical characteristic scores to the Maskim is a bit like assigning them to Kosmokrators. Still, note that the minimum scores could all be paid "from Might" ((1+2+3+4+5)x4=60<75). I expect several Maskim to have the equivalent of V&Fs and/or Powers that granted them far greater characteristics when they chose to take physical form, however, particularly if taking "inhuman" forms.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with the above - the rules are meant up to level 50, and above that there are no rules, with the Electors being at Might 75 but that's it. I'll stick to the minimum scores suggested for Might > 50, in preference to the points, if forced to chose between the two.

Yes but just check insert "the electors of hell" p27 which describes the 9 princes of each order.
First column say: "Suffice to say that each has an Infernal Might of 75."
Okay, maybe this wording means "they have 75" (and not more than that) but I read that as being figurative as a "base".
And the Chief of the False gods is Beelzebeub, not Adramalech which is th more "powerful" demon described in the book with might 50.

Thanks for the advice, I guess we all share the "they didn't think about > 50" feeling.

I personally read that as meaning "they have Might 75 and that's all we need to stat because that makes them so powerful their stats are irrelevant".

Agreed.

That's kind of a silly philosophy to stick to, I think. If they have a Might score that magi could penetrate with a Ball of Abysmal Flame, it's worth knowing what one will do to it.

That said, I still understand the lack of stats for the big guys in the book, but for a different reason... Namely, there's only a clearly defined number of them and they're major creatures, so if one is going to be used as a direct antagonist at all, it'd need to be tailored very carefully to the protagonists it's going to be a villain for. They're not statted for the same reason I remain surprised to this day that St. Michael was statted.

In regards to the original question of the thread... Yeah, it does seem a bit silly, doesn't it? I figure the rules as written don't really apply to Satan any more than the Divine creature rules should apply to trying to stat God, but for the big guys in Hell, they're forced to spend most of their points (60 of their 75) on getting their stats up to par, and their only choice from there is to boost one stat by two more points or boost two stats by one point each. They literally can't even use all their points, though that problem is occasionally encountered with lower-Might demons anyway since you can't always subtract from other stats to get properly divisible numbers for boosting your most important stats. Either way, without Virtues or Powers related to physical performance, the higher-end demons have very little to set them apart from each other physically and, perhaps more embarrassingly, are extremely likely to be outclassed in their best stats by Might 50 demons, who can pump individual stats at their whims as long as they don't reduce any of their stats to the negative.

In a sense, though, this also seems like what might be called an intentional design flaw, or more directly a not-flaw flaw; after all, these guys are the nine biggest and most important demons in Hell, so they presumably need to be able to cover a lot of roles well. Those less important guys are the ones who can afford to overspecialize for their roles, the bosses need to be at least somewhat awe-inspiring in every way. Like, even one of the leaders of Hell who you might describe in relative terms as the smart and bookish but physically wussy guy (uh... Maybe Pytho? Don't tell him I said that!) could still wrestle Hercules to a standstill based on sheer physical prowess. And I'm fairly sure that if one of these guys is supposed to be a mighty and terrible as equal-Might titanic beings from the other Realms it can happen through powers, though I'm not certain since I haven't played the right kind of characters to determine how well Infernal powers add up against the other Realm-specific ones. (They've at least got to have a leg up on Faeries, who have almost zero reason to use Faerie Wizardry guidelines over Hermetic ones even if given the option, but Divine abilities can be pretty good and Magic creatures have huge diversity since they can draw from other traditions associated with them, so I still don't really know how well demons add up.)