Spheres of Power and Outsiders

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Cthulhudrew
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Spheres of Power and Outsiders

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:49 pm

I've been revisiting demons from BECMI (Gold Box and Wrath Immortals sets), with an eye towards trying to do something different with them. Both are treated differently mechanically in the two versions available, with the demons in the Gold Box being actual Immortals of the Sphere of Entropy, and only being powerful ("Exalted") beings in WotI, with some corresponding reduction in powers/abilities.

I'm still kind of torn as to which approach- if either- I want to take with them, but it did get me to thinking about trying to expand the range of Entropic creatures beyond just demons, and to encompass more of the "classic" AD&D mold- ie, devils and daemons. Which also got me to thinking about their polar opposites in AD&D on the good end of the moral spectrum.

My current thinking is that the good and evil outsiders might be able to be fit into the hierarchy of the Spheres of existence- with the "good" Spheres (Matter, Time, Thought, Energy) having corresponding "evil" counterparts in Entropy, by adding an additional creature type introduced in Pathfinder to balance them out. Currently, I'm looking at it thusly:

Sphere | Outsider Group | Entropic Counterpart
Matter | Archon/Archon* | Demon
Energy | Eladrin/Azati* | Yugoloth(Daemon)/Daemon*
Thought | Aasimon(Deva)/Angel* | Devil
Time | Guardinal/Agathion*| Div*

*Pathfinder name/equivalent

I'm still not entirely sure if I have the counterparts quite right, but my rationale is thus:

Matter: This sphere is concerned with creation and order, and would naturally be most closely opposed by the demons, who are chaotic and exist only to destroy. The Gold Box notes that Archons (introduced in the Master set) are actually servitors of the Hierarch of Energy, but this feels oddly out of place. The Archons are noted as being obnoxiously lawful and good, and that seems pretty at odds with the ethos of Energy, which embodies chaos.
Energy: Consequently, the Eladrin/Azati seem like they would be good representatives of the freedom of chaos. I put the Daemons as their chief counterparts.
Thought: This sphere seems the best fit for the Angels, who espouse no particular tendency towards either chaos or law, but just good. I have the devils, those corrupters of thought, as their counterpart.
Time: I put the Guardinals/Agathions here; they are neutral which fits with the ethos of time, but I'm not sure they necessarily otherwise are a good fit. I also have the Div as their counterparts.
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Re: Spheres of Power and Outsiders

Post by Havard » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:57 am

Nice! I am not too familiar with the Pathfinder creatures you refer to, but I like that you included them.

I wonder if the Outsiders connected to time might be related to Oards somehow?

The idea of having Devils correspond to time is really interesting!

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Re: Spheres of Power and Outsiders

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:22 pm

Havard wrote:Nice! I am not too familiar with the Pathfinder creatures you refer to, but I like that you included them.
The Div were new creatures for Pathfinder that first appeared (IIRC) in the course of their 4th Adventure Path, "Legacy of Fire." They are by and large corrupted genies and such that became evil and are devoted to the ruin of all things mortal (creations, relationships, etc.). They are roughly based around the mythological Div of Persian mythology.

Daemons, of course, date back to 1E (they were renamed Yugoloths in 2E along with the renaming of the demons and devils).
The idea of having Devils correspond to time is really interesting!
I have the Div in that position; I thought that they were the best fit. Basically, they are devoted to hastening the end of things sooner than their natural course, and that would obviously be something that the Immortals of Time would be against.

The Devils, I thought, fit better in opposition to Thought, as they are dedicated to the corruption of souls (and, by extension, the mind/thought).

That said, I think that other possible divisions could certainly be made. The evil entities seem to be more easily fit to their opposition, though. I'm still not sure if I got the good side right.
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Re: Spheres of Power and Outsiders

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:07 pm

It looks like you just split the celestials by their alignment (matter is lawful, energy is chaotic, time is neutral, and thought is miscellaneous; archons are lawful, eladrins/azatas are chaotic, guardinals/agathions are neutral, angels are miscellaneous), which works well enough.

Eladrins seem to be made of energy, able to transform themselves into bodies of light or elemental force. They seem similar to flickers and tonals from the Immortals Rules.

The fiends got split up by their theme, not their alignment, but that makes some sense because they're meant to oppose their celestial counterparts. Devils fit pretty obviously as the evil equivalent of archons, but that just means they have certain interests in common (upholding law). Demons are more directly the opponents of archons, since they oppose absolutely everything about them, not just their approach to how the law is enforced. So demons aren't "the evil aspect of matter" but "the part of Entropy most opposed to matter." Especially given 4th edition's interpretation of demons as corrupted elementals, they fit pretty well in that slot.

Divs are presented as opposing mortal works before anything else, but they seem to have a broader goal of ruining absolutely everything. "Ahriman's ultimate goal is oblivion." I think I had the idea of using Thanatos in place of Pathfinder's Ahriman as the one who corrupted the genies who first helped build Nithia (or maybe some earlier civilization, like Mogreth). The idea that they target the works and accomplishments of mortals to destroy would make them appropriate adversaries of Khoronus, who seems to have an interest in preserving mortal civilizations. Although, that would also put them at odds with the Council of the Hollow World (including Ordana) and the Cynidicean clique.

While pure alignment might place the devils in opposition to Energy, seeking to enslave and control all that is wild, I can agree that they're specifically trying to control Thought, enslaving minds and abusing free will in an attempt to end it, rather than targeting magic or light or sound. Devils could specifically be fallen angels, too.

In Pathfinder, daemons are specifically incarnations of mortal death, while in Planescape yugoloths are incarnations of utter evil who concentrate more on manipulating other races of fiends than caring about mortals in the slightest. I can see them as concentrating on darkening the light, silencing music, and delving into the planes to wrest the secrets of magic and the Old Ones from the bones of the multiverse, born from the darkness when the azatas/eladrins first emerged, shining, from the primal light.

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