Demonic Subtypes?

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Seethyr
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Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Seethyr » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:08 am

Has the whole tanar’ri, obyrith and loumara demonic subtype been shelved completely for 5e? It was really interesting lore in 3e and the distinctions could assist in some planar adventuring plots. I feel like I haven’t heard much but now every demon has an aura of madness? Where is Obox-ob and Pale Night?
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by timemrick » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:15 pm

It's not an aura of madness per se, but in the demon lord descriptions in Mordenlainen's Book of Foes, if a character goes mad within line of sight of a demon lord or within its lair, the madness takes a form related to that lord.

I'm not familiar with the obyrith and loumara subtypes from 3e. I haven't seen any mention of them in 5e, and I don't recall the term tanar'ri being used in 5e, either.
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:53 pm

Tanar'ri and Ba'atazu were 2e demons & devils re-named to make the game seem lass 'demonic'.

5e has reverted to calling them by their original monikers. :twisted:

It is curious, however, that the 'loths' are still 'loths' instead of reverting back to their original 'daemon' types.

S'okay, though, the daemons came about much later, and even I don't recall using them by their original names, having always called them '-loths' in the game. :)
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:30 am

Seethyr wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:08 am
Has the whole tanar’ri, obyrith and loumara demonic subtype been shelved completely for 5e? It was really interesting lore in 3e and the distinctions could assist in some planar adventuring plots.
Well, the way it works in 5e is that their creature type is fiend and their subtype is demon. Subdividing demons further would result in sub-subtypes, which I think would be cutting it a little fine.

Not having the subtypes as game mechanics, though, doesn't mean the underlying lore has been shelved. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes includes dybbuks (who were loumara in 3e) and sibriexes (who were obyriths) and they seem to be the same as they ever were. Dybbuks are still possessor demons (which is what a loumara is) and sibriexes are still said to be "as old as the Abyss itself," which is a key part of 4e obyrith lore.

I'm sure Obox-ob, Pale Night, Pazuzu, Dagon, and other obyrith lords are still around, much as they were in previous editions.
Dread Delgath wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:53 pm
Tanar'ri and Ba'atazu were 2e demons & devils re-named to make the game seem lass 'demonic'.

5e has reverted to calling them by their original monikers.
They reverted to their original monikers back in late 2nd edition (immediately after the sale of TSR to WotC, starting in Planescape's Tales From the Infinite Staircase and continuing in A Paladin in Hell, Guide to Hell, and other 2nd edition books), and they've been demons and devils ever since.

3rd edition called them demons and devils, but introduced the idea that tanar'ri and baatezu were specific kinds of demons and devils. That was expanded upon in Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, which introduced demonic subtypes other than tanar'ri. Obyriths are elder demons or proto-demons, a concept that first appeared in Gary Gygax's novel Come Endless Darkness, which called Pazuzu a proto-demon. In the d20 accessory Armies of the Abyss, Erik Mona took the word qlippoth from qabalistic lore (in the Qabala, the qlippoth are the shells or husks of negative energy that surround the sephiroth, or emanations of God) to refer to the ancient, almost Lovecraftian demonic race that preceded the tanar'ri in the Abyss, and in Fiendish Codex I he and co-author James Jacobs called them obyriths, also adding the incorporeal loumaras.

In Armies of the Abyss, the two demonic subtypes were tanar'ri and qlippoth. Subsequently, WotC declared that the word tanar'ri was product identity and not available for d20 and OGL companies to use, so in the 3.5 version, The Book of Fiends, tanar'ri are simply called demons.

In the Pathfinder RPG, obyriths are still called qlippoth, while tanar'ri are called demons.

Mongoose's The Slayer's Guide to Demons also added a few new demonic subtypes, to good effect. In that text, tanar'ri are referred to as tanar'ka (translated as "Brood of Tanar") while the other demon types are the insectlike van'g'ka ("Brood of Van'g"), the shadowy jar'taska'ka ("Brood of Jar'taska"), and the psionic possessor demons known as nuyul'ka ("Brood of Nuyul"). Translating all that back to WotC's parlance, they'd be the tanar'ri, van'g'ri, jar'taska'ri, and nuyul'ri, and obyriths and loumaras might be the obyrith'ri and loumara'ri.

Tanar'ri are, in 3e and Pathfinder, specifically the demonic race that rose to dominate the Abyss after the power of the obyriths was broken by the Wind Dukes of Aaqa at the Battle of Pesh (although Pathfinder doesn't mention the Wind Dukes or Pesh since neither is part of Golarion's lore). Obyriths were a primal evil, preceding the appearance of mortal souls, while tanar'ri are those demons who were created from mortal souls and personify mortal sin. Loumara were born from the dreams of a pantheon of gods killed and digested by the Abyss.

In 4e the word tanar'ri was dropped, and standard demons were redefined as corrupted elementals rather than personifications of mortal sins, though obyriths still existed in 4e, redefined as refugees from a dead universe who brought a shard of pure evil from their universe of origin. The shard corrupted both Tharizdun and Asmodeus and resulted in the creation of the Abyss.
It is curious, however, that the 'loths' are still 'loths' instead of reverting back to their original 'daemon' types.
Daemon and demon are pronounced the exact same way; they're literally just different spellings of the same word (though "daemon" has more of a connotation of the ancient Greek sense of the word, a spirit capable of good or ill, rather than the Christian sense of demon as a purely evil spirit), and even if you pronounce it day-mon it's still annoyingly similar. It ranks with Ravenloft's goblyns and vampyres in D&D's "new creature created by spelling an existing creature's name slightly differently" laziness.

In 4th edition, the 'loth types used the suffix -demon instead of bothering to spell it differently, and they were all just explained as a mercenary type of demon native to the Abyss. So the creature called piscodaemon in 1e and piscoloth in 2e and 3e and 5e became a piscodemon in 4e, for example.

They're daemons in Pathfinder and in Green Ronin's Book of Fiends and Necromancer Games' stuff though.

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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by willpell » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:07 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:53 pm
It is curious, however, that the 'loths' are still 'loths' instead of reverting back to their original 'daemon' types.
That's because when you already have "demons", referring to "daemons" a lot can be unnecessarily confusing (especially since the Yugoloths are closer to Devils than to Demons in their outlook and practices, as well as their planar home).

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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:34 pm

Ah. Good points. ;)
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Seethyr » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:44 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:34 pm
Ah. Good points. ;)
Agreed, and some great history. Some that I knew and some that I didn’t.

I just felt like 3e had some kind of internal demonic conflict brewing. Where the obyriths wanted their Abyss back. I would’ve loved to have seen that option explored - particularly if they ever get around to Planescape again.

Imagine the demons start overwhelming the devils in the Blood War and the PCs need to stir up some old hatred and rivalries in the Abyss. I’d love to see Dagon and Obox-ob, Pale Night and Tharzax up against the likes of Fraz’Urb’lu, Orcus and Demogorgon with Pazuzu as an unknown. Would’ve been a great adventure path. Though now with all the demon stuff of late it would be too much.
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Obyriths intrigue me, and I've never heard of them before. Since I skipped over 3x, 3.5 & 4e, most of my lore comes from 1e, and a smattering of 2e lore. ;)
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:00 pm


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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:58 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:00 pm
Here's the Pathfinder material on qlippoth, the equivalent of obyriths in that game.

Here's the entry on the Pathfinder wiki.
Thanks for the links. :cool:
Are there any other D&D system sources for obyriths, or were they only in Pathfinder?
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by Seethyr » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:18 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:58 pm
ripvanwormer wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:00 pm
Here's the Pathfinder material on qlippoth, the equivalent of obyriths in that game.

Here's the entry on the Pathfinder wiki.
Thanks for the links. :cool:
Are there any other D&D system sources for obyriths, or were they only in Pathfinder?
Sorry I’m posting from my phone...while driving...or I’d have more for you, but as Rip mentioned earlier, the Fiendish Codex featured them prominently.
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Re: Demonic Subtypes?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:28 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:58 pm
Thanks for the links. :cool:
Are there any other D&D system sources for obyriths, or were they only in Pathfinder?
Under various names, they're in 3e, 3.5, Pathfinder, 4e, and 5e (as mentioned above, they're lumped in with other demons in 5e). Some of the 1e and 2e demon lords, like Pale Night (originally from 2e's Faces of Evil: The Fiends) and Pazuzu were retconned as obyriths (Pazuzu adapted and grew more humanoid over time).

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