Author Topic: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?  (Read 551 times)

Offline nadia.skylark

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Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« on: February 10, 2019, 05:51:43 AM »
I have an idea for a character that had their magic taken away from them and made a bargain with a crossroads demon to get it back. The way I'm using crossroads demons is that while they can kill you when your deal expires (usually 10 years), they can't take your soul unless you've done something that condemns it. As such, the crossroads demons like to throw in stuff that makes people more likely to be corrupted into their deals--in this case, sponsored magic in addition to the character's own magic.

The problem is, I don't want to just use hellfire, and I'm having trouble thinking of what crossroads demon sponsored magic would look like. Any ideas?

Offline g33k

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 06:10:47 PM »
This is from the TV series "Supernatural," correct?

Are you using DFRPG/DFA rules to play in that 'verse?
Or "importing" a few pieces of Supernatural into the Dresdenverse?
Or doing a full-on "everything included" blend?  (fwiw, I believe Jim views the Dresdenverse this way - it has at least pieces of most myths, folktales and fantastical novels/movies/TV)
Or ... ?

In the Dresdenverse, most of what we know of demons&devils is about the Denarians.  In the earliest novels, Harry summons another (non-Denarian) demon in an effort to bargain for information; but that plot-arc gets dropped and doesn't reappear for the rest of the series (so far).

What we know Denarians can offer:
  • Hellfire (powerful, inherently destructive, unstable for ongoing use)
  • Demonform (Denarians mostly give their hosts access to a shapeshifted form; Anduriel seems instead to offer a "shadow" that can physically manifest in various ways, to do various things, without actually shapeshifting the form of its host-human, Nicodemus).
  • Damage resistance, and incredible healing
  • Information (secrets lost to the ages, or intentionally hidden, including spell & other magical knowledge)
That other (non-Denarian) demon only offered knowledge, I think...?  But we REALLY don't have much info on what overt powers can be granted by non-Denarians; fr all we know, Hellfire may ONLY be grant'able by Denarians!  OK, I grant that one's unlikely...

Point being, it's really pretty wide-open.

I think you just pick a theme, and the demon amps it up; Quintus Cassius had "snake magic" with or without Saluriel.  Dresden's own favored fire-magic and force-magic was MUCH more potent with Hellfire backing it.  Just remember that Sponsored Magic has to be something the Sponsor is willing to do.

Oh, and Crossroad Demons are happy to leverage the bargain in-hand to get MORE souls from others... so your character is likely to be urged/tempted to do things likely to put OTHERS' souls at risk...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 06:36:58 PM by g33k »

Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 06:36:58 PM »
I'm mostly just importing crossroads demons into the Dresdenverse. I've only actually watched the first few episodes of Supernatural, but I've read summaries of some of the later ones and crossroads demons seem like something that would fit in well with the Dresdenverse cosmology.

Quote
In the Dresdenverse, most of what we know of demons&devils is about the Denarians.  In the earliest novels, Harry summons another (non-Denarian) demon in an effort to bargain for information; but that plot-arc gets dropped and doesn't reappear for the rest of the series (so far).

What we know Denarians can offer:
Hellfire (powerful, inherently destructive, unstable for ongoing use)
Demonform (Denarians mostly give their hosts access to a shapeshifted form; Anduriel seems instead to offer a "shadow" that can physically manifest in various ways, to do various things, without actually shapeshifting the form of its host-human, Nicodemus).
Information (secrets lost to the ages, or intentionally hidden, including spell & other magical knowledge)
That other (non-Denarian) demon only offered knowledge, I think...?  But we REALLY don't have much info on what overt powers can be granted by non-Denarians; fr all we know, Hellfire may ONLY be grant'able by Denarians!  OK, I grant that one's unlikely...

Point being, it's really pretty wide-open.

I think you just pick a theme, and the demon amps it up; Quintus Cassius had "snake magic" with or without Saluriel.  Dresden's own favored fire-magic and force-magic was MUCH more potent with Hellfire backing it.  Just remember that Sponsored Magic has to be something the Sponsor is willing to do.

I'm trying to make something that looks fairly different from the Denarians. My character has run across them before, and one of the crossroads demon's selling points was "oh, we're nothing like THOSE guys. They're just awful," so... (obviously, this isn't true, as my character will learn, but it ought to look true at first glance). 

Quote
Oh, and Crossroad Demons are happy to leverage the bargain in-hand to get MORE souls from others... so your character is likely to be urged/tempted to do things likely to put OTHERS' souls at risk...

That's the plan  :).

Offline g33k

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 06:55:13 PM »
Hmmm.  OK, how about this...

The crossroad demon doesn't "co-habit" inside the host, like the Denarians do.  They "demonically surveil" their contractees.  Mind you, they probably do it MUCH more effectively than the contractee believes, but pretend to do so much worse.  So the person who made the deal may THINK they have protected themselves (behind a threshhold, inside a Magic Circle, etc...) but they haven't.

In the case of your guy... the demon gave him back his magic -- the magic inside him IS the demon's link, so he can never ward it out, its already inside the wards!  That's not to say he can't EVER get away from the spying... but it's going to be REALLY tough!

Furthermore... the demon gave him back his magic.  It is, fundamentally, the demon's magic that he's wielding.  There is ALSO this "sponsored magic" that he knows is problematic in all these ways, but even when he relies on his "own" magic, it often somehow turns out to be for the worse not the better.  Innocents get hit by the backlash.  He gets so caught up in hammering Bad Guy A, that he doesn't notice Bad Guy B is getting away, or doing something even worse.

Think of Harry Dresden with his "Anger Issues" before he realized that Lasciel was nudging his emotions and his attention; letting an innocent bleed out while he MADE DAMED SURE the monster was down; slagging scenery to make a point; terrifying his apprentice to "teach her a lesson;" etc...


Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 06:06:35 AM »
Quote
The crossroad demon doesn't "co-habit" inside the host, like the Denarians do.  They "demonically surveil" their contractees.  Mind you, they probably do it MUCH more effectively than the contractee believes, but pretend to do so much worse.  So the person who made the deal may THINK they have protected themselves (behind a threshhold, inside a Magic Circle, etc...) but they haven't.

In the case of your guy... the demon gave him back his magic -- the magic inside him IS the demon's link, so he can never ward it out, its already inside the wards!  That's not to say he can't EVER get away from the spying... but it's going to be REALLY tough!

Great idea!

Quote
Furthermore... the demon gave him back his magic.  It is, fundamentally, the demon's magic that he's wielding.

Not exactly. The specifics of this are that my character messed up Thorned Namshiel's plans and killed his host, and the next host he got had no magic potential. Namshiel, being really pissed about it, got ahold of one of my character's focus items and used it to essentially steal my character's magic for his host. My character then made a bargain with a crossroads demon to get her magic back--essentially a really powerful thaumaturgy ritual based on the fact that it's her magic, so she is a thaumaturgic link to it. So it really is her magic--that's why she needs sponsored magic in the first place.

For what the sponsored magic can do, I'm thinking something with conjuration/illusion, to represent the way the demon gives people what they want, only for it to turn out to be worthless/not worth what they paid for it, but I'm stuck on how it should manifest for combat. I don't want it to be pure illusions, and conjuration doesn't really fit for combat thematically (unless things happen like the conjured sword vanishing just in time not to block a strike--but if that happened, my character would learn to stop using it really quickly, which would rather defeat the purpose).

Offline Dragonsdai

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 06:25:02 PM »
What about illusions of things that shouldn't be dangerous, it's kind of borderline silly but if she has like a giant feather that functions as a sword?

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 08:48:50 PM »
Conjuration has plenty of combat applications. Especially if you can create objects that are inherently dangerous or in motion. Conjuring acid or arrows in flight is pretty deadly.

The "worthless" part needs to be set aside, though; obviously you don't want your magic to be definitionally worthless.

Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 05:19:56 AM »
Do you think this power should have air/smoke as part of it?

I'm trying to figure out what a (non-conjuration) attack would look like. Maybe poisonous gas?

Offline Jabberwocky

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Re: Crossroads Demon Sponsored Magic?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 09:04:38 AM »
For starters, if you haven't done it yet, I would recommend you to have a look at the chapter Voidcalling in the Fate System Toolkit (free download from Evil Hat: https://www.evilhat.com/home/fate-core-downloads/) This could give you a good idea of how magic with an inherent tendency to backfire or go awry could look like. Second, whatever the desired effect is, I would handle it through compels (compels solve everything, remember? :-) Any effect created with the sponsored evothaum would have an appropriate aspect (e.g. Crossroads Demon's Workings or similar) and the GM could compel you or even tag it for free at an (in)appropriate moment. Self-compels would be also welcome. That's my two pence, anyway :-)
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