Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted. I’ve been up at a friend’s lakehouse, celebrating fourth of July weekend. Happy freedom, everyone!
While I was up there, I found the time to finish writing this demon summoning system I’d been working on. For use in any system you feel like using, but most specifically for use in my Gutterpunk system, I give you: The Summoning and Binding of Demons.
EDIT: This post is about a rules system for use with D&D and other roleplaying games. Not the actual summoning of demons, which is, as far as I know, not actually possible. I feel the need to say this because apparently someone found this blog by searching “How can you summon a demon.” Whoever you are, person who Googled that: This is not what you are looking for.
To summon a demon, you need a specially-prepared area in which to summon it, and enough binding wards to keep control of it. Each demon has a specific Will stat, and every summoning performed by a mage creates a Bindings stat.
When a demon is summoned, compare its Will against the circle’s Bindings. Each will have a score that will be added or subtracted by various things. Compare Will vs. Bindings. If:
Will>Bindings margin of 5+: Summoner has no control. Demon will do as it wishes.
Will>Bindings margin<5: Summoner can still banish the demon, otherwise has no control.
Will=Bindings: Summoner has partial control. Demon will take as a serious suggestion any orders given.
Will<Bindings margin<5: Demon will obey orders while trying to find a way around them.
Will<Bindings margin 5+: Demon is securely bound and will not disobey any order.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH A DEMON
A summoned demon will perform one task for the summoner before vanishing back to Hell or wherever else it came from. The summoner can attempt to have it perform another task, but every time this is done the summoning’s Bindings are reduced by two.
A summoner can, at any time, banish a demon they’ve summoned. Roll 1d10 and add half the Bindings score rounded down. If the summoner has bested the demon’s Will, the demon is immediately returned to Hell. If not, well, better luck next time.
Note: I’m trying to keep an aura of mystery about this whole “bindings” system, so I’ve removed the numbers from a lot of the entries in this section. Also, bear in mind that this list doesn’t even cover half of what a mage might concievably do to bind a particular demon. I want part of the system to be mages working through guesswork and risky summonings.
Summoners are probably not going to have very long lifespans in this system.
Preparation: Bonus to Bindings Score
Having a summoning circle: 3
Black candles/other atmospheric elements: 1
Gold dust in bindings: 2
Bindings drawn in blood: 1
Small amount of own blood: 1
Magical Stuff (powdered unicorn horn, liquid souls, salt from the cursed mines of Tal-Agoth, etc): 4
What it Affects: Bonus to Binding Score (information redacted)
(Note: If the bonus is talking about a circle, then that is in addition to the bonus gained from just having a circle. If the bonus is titled “Sacrifice” it is in addition to the general sacrifice.)
Circle of Salt
Circle of Candles
Circle of Liquid
Circle of Powder
Inlaid Circle of Precious Metal
Circle of Flowing Water
Unbroken Circle of Flame
Sacrifice of Feathers
Sacrifice of Fruit
Sacrifice of Oil
Sacrifice of Knives
Anything else that the summoner can make a convincing argument for
Whenever the summoner has no knowledge of a demon but its name, roll on the following chart to determine what appears in the circle:
RANDOM DEMON CREATION
ROLL ALL THE DICE
d6 Hungers For
1 Streamlined humanoid
2 Heavily bulky humanoid
3 Bulky bestial form
4 No legs, floats
7 Dead-average humanoid
8 Completely alien
This particular demon’s Will score. Record this number next to the name.
d12 Physical Features:
02 Extra arms
03 Hypnotic eyes
04 Long, snakelike tail
05 Tentacles, goddamn everywhere
06 Extra eyes
07 Extra mouths
08 Exaggerated ears
10 Unearthly beauty
11 Exposed bones
12 Roll twice more on this table
The “elements” on the d4 table provide simple classification and thematic guidelines for creating demons. A demon of a particular element might have the example characteristics that I’ve written here, though these are only ideas I had.
Smooth red skin
Rocky skin with glowing cracks
Limbs partially composed of fire
Eyes are pools of fire, otherwise normal
Greenish, poisonous slime drips from mouth every time it speaks
Envelops its victims in water and drowns them.
Everyone within a 30ft radius must make a will save or start weeping.
It is always raining in the area around this demon.
Rocky skin with dead-black cracks
Dusty skin, trails sand
Angular and metal
Formed primarily of rotting plant matter
Unnaturally large eyes that look like those plasma things, otherwise normal.
The air in its wake is filled with deadly vapors. All within 10ft must make a fortitude save or be poisoned.
Speaks only in whispers. All sound nearby is deadened.
Is only half-visible.
How will this demon destroy all you hold dear? Brainstorming follows. Don’t really have a chart for this one, just pick something that seems appropriate.
Possession: Must steal a corporal body to fight, but can jump from body to body.
Straight Murder: Is really, really good at fighting.
Pestilence: Associated with some disgusting disease.
Madness: Drives people insane.