Weapon ability for ancient beings?

Short story: What is a fitting weapon ability score for a deamon who has spent the last thousand years participating in battles?

Long story: My players are about to fight a toughie of a deamon. I've dropped hints that this guy was above their level for some time, hoping that they might do some research/preparation before taking this guy on. But they have decided to go in guns blazing and that is (most likely) going to cost some grogs. I did not expect them to do this so early, and I'm now putting together this guys character.That got me thinking about the ability score of ancient beings like him.

This guy specialises in making battles as bloody as possible, using his abilities to make people slaughter surrendered foes, peasants etc. As he is a deamon and does not really have any patience, I can't imagine him training in any way. But as he has been participating in these battles, the exposure itself must have given him some practice. Add a few millinia doing this, and I'm guessing he should be nearly unstoppable with a blade

How have you handled encounters with martial immortal beings?

Simply assign him whatever stats seem to fit for such a being.

If he's spend the better part part of centuries participating in various battles, that would provide him with adventure xp to be assigned to his combat abilities. Also, as a magical being he may have used Transformation (or the equivalent for other Realms if he is not from the Magical).

Assigning a Single Weapon (or Great Weapon) score of 20 would not make me bat an eye. Plus he probably has some combat-relevant Powers to boot. Mentem to instill fear, Corpus to cause wounds to a group of opponents, Ignem to create darkness (with a secondary power to sense opponents in darkness).

A mania effect on foes so they fight all around them. Or possessing another to fight in their body - that might change how the magi fight the possessed grog, especially if the demon switches between grogs as the wounds stack. Maybe he switches grogs each wound. Add a bit of Pen to the power so they can't hide behind shared Parma too.

Demons do not learn skills, so far as I understand. Their skills are intrinsic. So how skilled this demon is depends on how much of a threat he is meant to be.

If you want to use "a thousand years of experience" as a building guideline, though, he has (2x4x1000) 8000 XP, divided we shall say among Single and Great Weapon, Brawling, and Bow for 2000 XP each - which my spreadsheet calculates out to about a 28 in all four. That may be a bit much. :slight_smile:

Demons do not build skills, but they do steal them. Of course this tends to be difficult after they get to level 16 or so...
but as mentioned, possession is 9/10 of the battle, as well as any subordinate demons he can throw at the characters, or any human servants he can have fight for him. Plus the ability to simply turn diffuse and flee if he has the slightest reason not to engage personally in the fight... bravery is another one of those virtues demons do not possess.

And, at a certain point, he may fake his defeat if that suits his plan. Or spare their life in exchange for some service that will taint them :wink:
The most simple way for you to prevent a group wipe, when it's clear that they are going towards disaster, is by making the demon say: "Now choose one of you and kill him. Otherwise I'll kill all of you. Muhahahaha!"
I mean, the demon gains nothing by killing the magi... he wants to corrupt them and use them to spread the corruption. He doesn't need the bodies, he craves the souls.

And it is possible the demon can animate otherwise inanimate matter to fight for him, or call up souls he has already collected as infernal ghosts (who can occupy grogs...). The magi's army may well turn against them the moment they arrive...

Sorry to intrude, but last intervenants speak about a "demon" (infernal) while the original poster spoke about a "deamon" (magical spirit).

For a deamon of Death or another powerful spirit (which would have inspired the faerie concept of Arès, Mars, etc.) I imagine giving a score of 20+ with power to create a superior-legendary level item (including thus a 20+finess score to have a "excellent +6 weapon blade created via a temporary CrTe like power - but needing penetration but you can spend like 10+ in mastery score if you want to diminish the requirement to be useful against magical foes -, or if you prefer, a ReTe like one to assemble a weapon from sand, or even a CrTe ritual power to create from thin air with no penetration need).

I do not really see a demon to have need to "kill like a (sexy shoeless) god of war". Just a simple killing is sufficient, after which the demon will use powers to improve the fear/hardship of the life of the other persons involved (parents, family...) and push them to sin to improve their lives. The wrongly accused target - "You killed my father, bastard! I will avenge him with your death and the death of every single member of your family!", or the unjust punishment "You have been charged with killing this man, but I, as lord, decide you will only pay 1 penny to its family! - Bad lord, you gave a very unjust decision to your friend, I will kill you one day, even if it's the last thing I do!" are two good demonic plots.

Oh, right... my bad :slight_smile:

It isn't clear to me if the guy us a daemon (Magic Realm) or demon (Infernal Realm); in either case, I suggest he isn't learning from experience anymore, but rather represents an "epitome" of fighting skill and mayham. So his stats should literally be what suits this role, and his role in your saga, rather than based on experience and his age.

That said, I would suggest allowing him Abilities at 15 or 20, and compounding these with Powers and special abilities as suggested above (posession, Mentem effects to cause blind rage, and so on). Good possession shticks should make him nigh impossible to target with regular Hermetic combat magic.

You should consider how to save the party/campaign despite his obvious martial advantage. Having him demand their future favors in return to their lives can work; but so would arranging a McGuffing to save them (perhaps a teleportation thingie to whisk them back to safety? A deus-ex-machina intervention by a prophetic Criamon that will arrange for support to facilitate their retreat once the battle turns against them? Something.)

I'm going to chime in with the opinion that giving a demon, masterful combatant as he may be, the same skill level as the Archangel of War Azrael might be a bit much. Demons and daemons don't really learn outside of exceptional circumstances, so it's more likely that this mighty demon is still within relatively human ranges of skill (maybe 10-12?) but just has physical stats far beyond mortal limits to make him a match for a combat group in a straight fight. Then tip the odds in his favor and make the intervention of the magi absolutely essential through the use of Powers, as described by other posters above.