Demons and Devils – 5ex5

I have had an incredibly busy week, so much so that I missed blogging on Monday completely! What I should have been doing is working on the D&D 5th Edition conversion to a D100 system. I am doing this conversion very much with a Rolemaster hat on and it is interesting to see what D&D has that Rolemaster doesn’t and what it does very differently.  One of those are the Demons and Devils.

Demon Princes

You can tell I am working on the Monster Manual right now can’t you. Demons are a classic fantasy monster and we have our own rolemaster demons with our type 1 to 5 pales and so on. When you compare that to the D&D world you get an entire ecology of abominations to play with from relatively weak monsters to named demon princes. I had forgotten just how many of these there actually were in the core D&D books.

Asmodius the Demon Prince
Asmodius the Demon Prince

Crusading Knights

I think that D&D had its origins in a fairly real world concept. You can almost see the fighter class being cast as a crusading knight. As soon as you take a step in that Christian direction then demons and devils are nature enemies to be defeated.

Rolemaster has a strong Tolkien heritage

Rolemaster on the other hand has a strong Tolkien heritage and in that setting there are certainly no devils but the Balrog certainly seems demonic even if they are of the maiar. Once you step away from middle earth then that demonic niche needs filling. I think the developers gave us elven demons and human demons to fill the gap. Seeing as Middle Earth had no devils then Rolemaster has no devils.

I think it is interesting that in 30+ years I have never felt the need to reintroduce devils back into the monsterous ecology of my game world which is in fact their natural environment of Faerun.

7 Replies to “Demons and Devils – 5ex5”

  1. One of the most memorable AD&D adventures, H4 The Throne of Bloodstone, set you up against mostly demon princes (rather than devils, unless you counted Tiamat because she was in the Nine Hells). Okay, you only actually had to face off against Orcus and Tiamat, but if you went for a stroll around the Abyss you could get to meet a bunch more (and two early adventures, compiled in T1-4 and GDQ1-7 also had you go up against demigods from the Abyss).

    1. It was the devils I found particularly interesting as they are completely absent in Rolemaster. If pressed I could not actually tell you the difference between a demon and a devil anyway. In my mind I see demons as more destructive and devils as more persuasive in their evil but that could just be my personal cultural references.

      1. Going by the old alignments, LE of devils to CE of demons, I interpret devils (or whatever the heck they changed the name to) as being more organised and structure in their evil. There was a definite hierarchy in the Nine Hells for devils, whilst the powerful demon princes had no superior they acknowledged.

        1. I had noticed that. Also in the stats department Devils get far higher Charisma stats and Demons get greater strength and constitution.

          I see Devils as being more persuasive and insidious whereas the Demons are more destructive.

  2. Peter:

    Just curious since I touched upon this in by blog on the “Gap” between rulesets and dedicated settings.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve dabbled in the D&D world. Does both Greyhawk and FR share the exact same bestiary & dieties? Just different worlds but both draw from Monster Manual etc?

    1. The deities are different though. Of course, there are so many monsters available for D&D (as pretty much every supplement seemed to have at least one new one), you could pick and choose which you wanted.

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