The Most Head-Scratching Demon Lords in D&D


Demon lords in Dungeons & Dragons are the ultimate embodiments of evil in the multiverse. They each rule at least one layer of the Abyss, which is where the evilest of evil spirits go after they pass on. These include monsters like Baphomet, the prince of beasts, Dagon, the ruler of monsters of the deep, and Graz’zt, the patron of tyrants and despots. Then…there are these guys.

Like the Roman pantheon, which had dozens of mundane gods, D&D has a demon lord for just about everything. Did you know that mushrooms and mucus could be inherently evil? Well, they can in D&D. Then again, this is a game that literally has monsters that disguise themselves as floors, so you shouldn’t be that surprised.

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Getting Villainous: Suicide Squad as an RPG Campaign

Suicide Squad

Running an RPG with evil characters tends to be difficult. While it’s perfectly possible for players to create complex evil characters (and I’ve seen it done at my table before), they just as frequently interpret the “E” in their alignment block as a reason to maim and kill every NPC they come across.

The Pathfinder RPG is trying its hand at an evil game with the release of the Hell’s Vengeance adventure path that kicks off this month. Personally, the next time I run a game with evil PCs, I’ll probably hit my comics collection for inspiration. Specifically, the John Ostrander-written Suicide Squad title that launched in 1987 is one of the best examples of a story that made the audience cheer for the bad guys.

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Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1

City of Secrets #1

Following the conclusion of its first volume, the Pathfinder comic series went on a six-month hiatus. Then it returned in new, relaunched glory as Pathfinder: City of Secrets. The book reemerged with Leandro Oliveira providing better art than ever before and Jim Zub and his stable of fantasy RPG tropes returning to writing duties.

I’m not a huge fan of the constant relaunches that dominate the comic book industry, but Dynamite handles it better than mainstream companies like Marvel and DC. Specifically, there feels like a reason the reboot is happening. The last volume focused on our heroes’ adventures around the small town of Sandpoint. Now with some experience under their belt, they’re off to a new city. That means a new environment, a new style of adventure, and thus a new volume. Yes, sales still drive the idea of a relaunch, but in this case it really feels like our heroes are embarking upon a new chapter of their lives.

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Dancing Half-Fiends and the Glory of Infinite Choices

Half-Fiend Minotaur

Easily my favorite part of tabletop RPGs is the fact that they have so much latitude and room for player agency. No matter how robust a computer game is, there are always a finite number of choices. Because tabletop RPGs rely on human adjudication, the possibilities are limitless…like that time the PCs in one of my games inspired a pair of half-fiends to become vaudeville stars.

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The 4 Most Awesomely Hilarious Monsters from Bestiary 4

Bestiary 4

One of the things I noticed in participating in the most recent season of RPG Superstar is that Pathfinder has some really good monsters in its later bestiaries. Typically, bestiaries get worse as they go on, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

My RPG Superstar entries dabbled with the grimple and the soulbound mannequin to great success, and both of those come from the Bestiary 4. That’s only scratching the surface – there’s a lot of goodness in there, such as the bodythief which draws inspiration from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to some truly mythic-level stuff like the Great Old Ones (better be able to make a Will save against DC 40 if you plan to stand within 300 feet of Cthulhu) and kaiju.

But all that awesomeness isn’t what I’m going to talk about today. This is a blog called Beer and Pretzels, and so I’m going to focus on the four monsters from Bestiary 4 that strike the right combination of hilarious and bizarre to make them go all the way around the scale to awesome.

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Delving into the Book of Erotic Fantasy: Wear Protection

The Book of Erotic Fantasy

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition introduced the Open Gaming License, which made huge chunks of the D&D rules open to third parties. It created thriving adventure lines, such as Dungeon Crawl Classics and even allowed the creation of competing games, such asPathfinder. But by far one of the most simultaneously awesome and horrible products that emerged as a result of this license is the Book of Erotic Fantasy.

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