A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Demons and Devils

Demons and Devils by Bill Webb and Clark Peterson is a role playing game supplement published by Necromancer Games. The supplement is intended for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and, as such, is covered by the Open Game License with parts being considered to be Open Game Content. This is a collection of three short adventures, all of them dungeon crawls, each of which features demons or devils as the major foes within. Each of the three dungeons is described as being a suitable place to hide an important item. Although each has been provided with an item, these can be replaced. Each is also essentially a death trap.

Demons and DevilsThis is a 36 page PDF. It is available from RPGNow for $2.99 as the PDF, $8.95 as a print on demand softcover and both PDF and softcover combined for $8.95. Print editions can also be found from places such as Amazon and it is one of the products included in the Necromancer World Collection, which is how it was purchased and at the reduced price of $18 for the collection. Two pages of the supplement are the full colour front and back covers, one page is the front matter, one page the Open Game License and one page an advert. There is also a single page Introduction on using the dungeons and two pages of maps for the dungeons.

The Sorcerer’s Citadel is a dungeon belonging to a powerful, and dead, wizard. There is an aboveground area, the actual tower, and the dungeon, which is the main area. Players can be teleported to here from Rappan Athuk and the dungeon also has a map leading to the Stoneheart Mountain Dungeon from The Tomb of Abysthor; the latter dungeon has a teleportal to and from Rappan Athuk.

“Ra’s Evil Grin” is a dungeon created to host an artefact belonging to an avatar associated with the Sun God Ra. This artefact was hidden away by the priests of Tsathoggua.

The Pit of Despair is a trap created by Orcus, Necromancer’s favourite demon deity (he is their mascot after all). It is a demon-dungeon masquerading as the temple to a lawful good deity and is the resting place of powerful lawful good sword. This dungeon is largely set up as a lose-lose; players are most likely to come away with the wrong item the first time, even after succeeding, necessitating a return trip to destroy it and find the correct one.

Demons and Devils in Review

There are no bookmarks or Contents in the supplement and, although this is quite short, they really should  have been used. Navigation is as a result substantially subpar. The text maintains a two column format and the most noticeable errors are in the second and third dungeons – the page headers for these are taken from Rappan Athuk and refer to that supplement rather than this one. Although these do not cause any problems, it does seem like a fairly big error to have overlooked. There are a number of appropriate black and white illustrations, as well as the maps.

There are quite a few references to the, now gone, Necromancer Games site, for such as wilderness encounters and other free downloads. Using the WayBackMachine it may be possible to obtain some of this content; however, some is password protected which means it is now gone. This decreases the utility of the book.

Demons and Devils was originally intended for use under the d20 License but, following the cessation of that license, was transferred to the Open Game License. As a consequence there are a few references to Wizards of the Coast IP which cannot be used under the OGL. Although intended for D&D 3.x it should be reasonably easy to convert it to Pathfinder.

The Sorcerer’s Citadel is perhaps the most interesting as its ties to Rappan Athuk and link to the Stoneheart Mountain Dungeon mean that it could be integrated quite easily into a campaign centring around the megadungeon.

All three dungeons, as is quite common in Necromancer products, are quite lethal. There are many, many ways to die, and the dungeons largely exist to kill people. They may also store powerful items, but they are designed as a death trap to those trying to find them. Many have various effects that make spells not work the way they should, with no real explanation as to why other than by fiat. These effects would probably not be found in a dungeon that wasn’t so Old School inspired; modern ones demand a bit more logic. Demons and Devils is, like most Necromancer products, a collection of lethal encounters that should appeal to those fond of old-style dungeon designs and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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